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The Smithsonian to Release 129-Song Hip-Hop Anthology

Grandmaster Flash at the UIC Pavillion in Chicago, 1982 © Getty

The Smithsonian announced an extensive 9-disc box set to celebrate hip hop and document the history of the genre. The 129-track collection features music from pioneers like Grandmaster Flash and Kurtis Blow, as well as more recent influences like Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, and J. Cole. The collection was is co-produced by The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington, D.C. and Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, the Smithsonian Institute's non-profit record label.

Kevin Young, the Andrew W. Mellon Director of NMAAHC shared a statement saying, “Born in Bronx and raised across the American West and South, hip-hop is one of the most influential genres of music in the modern era.” He went on to say, “Through beats, dynamic rhymes, and pointed lyricism, hip-hop has provided a platform for communities and generations to voice their ongoing struggles and has changed society and culture around the world.”

The Smithsonian Anthology Of Hip-Hop And Rap will be released on August 20.

Otis is the late morning host on WFPK. Email Otis at ojunior@lpm.org