I have no idea how I feel about this…

by Rome

The Smithsonian Institution is preparing for an exhibit on Hip Hop


The museum, part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., is announcing its plans to embark on a collecting initiative, “Hip-Hop Won’tStop: the Beat, the Rhymes, the Life.”

The project, the beginnings of a permanent collections, will gather objects that trace hip-hop’s origins in the Bronx in the 1970s to its current global reach. It is expected to cost as much as $2 million and take up to five years to complete.

Museum officials have yet to raise the money, which will come from private donors. They will use the funds to pay for artifacts, record oral histories, hold consultations with advisory groups and mount an exhibit telling hip-hop’s story.

Hip-hop culture, whose main elements include rappers, DJs and breakdancers, is considered one of the most powerful cultural explosions ever. Today, it’s incorporated into marketing to sell everything from cars and clothing to food and furniture.

This could be used as a great educational tool for a lot of schools. But while I am gonna keep an open mind about it, there’s something about the Smithsonion doing an exhibition like this that just doesn’tsit well with me.

NOTE: One of the “artifacts” that will be on display at the Smithsonian show will be MC Lyte’s diary as well as other donations from Africa Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash.

  • Jerome Baker

    if this is done right it could be the best exhibit in the smithsonians history…

  • Stone

    Yeah, I think they might be able to pull this off. They got a bunch of support from the old school hip-hop community. But it is the Smithsonian, so I don't think they will talk much about the historical/racial contexts behind the creation of hip-hop. Hopefully it's just not going to be the standard “Museum of American History” piece with some artifacts on display.

  • Miss Hipstah

    I agree. If this is done right, it could be amazing.

    When a museum does an exhibit on a subculture though, they can sometimes “white wash” it.

    Like Stone said, I'm concerned with whether or not the Smithsonian is going to discuss the racial and economic factors in the exhibit or whether it's just going to be “Hey, look! It's a turntable!”