The Smithsonian’s National Museum Of African American History And Culture is joining forces with Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and the hip-hop community to produce the Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap.
Mc Lyte who is a part of the advisory board spoke with The Root and explained how the Global appeal of Hip Hop music has sparked the interest of the World Famous Museum.
“Many years ago, I would go to all of those places in Germany and, you know, Italy, and all of these countries where all they did was listen to American hip-hop,” Lyte says. “Now they’ve made the switch over into really embracing it themselves … and they have their own hip-hop and they’re rapping in their native tongue. It’s a whole ’nother expansion for hip-hop.”
Aside from Lyte there is a star studded list of members on the advisory board that include, Chuck D, Questlove and 9th Wonder as well as scholars Cheryl Keyes from UCLA, Mark Anthony Neal from Duke, industry veterans Bill Adler and Bill Stephney, plus journalist and music critic Jeff Chang.
The process to find the top songs to be released on the Anthology is tough indeed as the museum’s curator of music and performing arts, Dwandalyn Reece says,
“Fifty or so people gave [us] a list of over a thousand songs and said, ‘Pick your top 100,’” Reece says, laughing. “When we pared down that list, then as a committee, we actually sat down for an entire day, and everyone had their own top priority list, and then we just talked shop. Someone would say, ‘Well, we really need to have this.’ And what’s important is this is not a Hall of Fame or best of. This is an anthology that’s telling the story and history of hip-hop.”
Help support the project by donating to their Kickstarter campaign with there goal of reaching $250,000 dollars, the campaign continues through Nov. 16 at 5 a.m. ET. The anthology is slated to be released in December 2018.