National Museum of African American History and Culture and Smithsonian Folkways Announce Aug. 20 Release of the Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) has partnered with Smithsonian Folkways Recordings to produce the Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap to be released Aug. 20. This first-of-its-kind collection chronicles hip-hop’s growth and impact from the parks of the Bronx to the broadest areas of the American experience and worldwide influence. A track list and additional information [1] about the anthology are available, including images from the set.

“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,” said Kevin Young, the Andrew W. Mellon Director of NMAAHC. “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 project is the latest in the Smithsonian African American Legacy Series, a collaboration between Smithsonian Folkways and NMAAHC to tell stories about music by African Americans and the experiences that inspire it. The launch of the anthology comes as the museum prepares to celebrate its five-year anniversary and highlights its ongoing mission to tell the stories of American history through the African American lens. The anthology details the evolution of hip-hop over four decades through 129 tracks spread across nine CDs, along with a 300-page coffee table book featuring 11 essays from prominent music scholars, authors and journalists covering topics such as entrepreneurship, graffiti, women in hip-hop and more, as well as extensive notes on each track.

“We wanted the Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap to be reflective of the culture, of the music, of the people, of everything that is part of hip-hop,” said Dwandalyn R. Reece, NMAAHC’s associate director for curatorial affairs, curator of music and performing arts and producer of the anthology.

In addition, the anthology features hundreds of photographs spanning decades of history. It was designed by artist Cey Adams, founding creative director of Def Jam.

In hip-hop’s early years, some critics refused to acknowledge the art form as music, dismissing it instead as unoriginal and uncreative. As a result, hip-hop spent its first decade of growth as a niche genre that much of the music industry assumed would burn out in a short time. Now, as hip-hop nears its 50th anniversary, it is the most popular musical genre in the U.S., with notable influence and impact in all aspects of American culture. Arguably one of the last music counter cultures, hip-hop is instrumental in shaping and narrating the stories of America’s inner cities.

The Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap is a thoroughly researched and thoughtfully curated set of essays that tell the story of hip-hop and rap, acting as an extension of the museum’s permanent collections. The project was produced over seven years from launch to completion, with the care and intention befitting the weight and scope of hip-hop’s story. The work began in 2014 from an executive committee composed of key figures in the music and culture of hip-hop, including rappers Chuck D and MC Lyte; writers and scholars Adam Bradley, Jeff Chang, Cheryl Keyes and Mark Anthony Neal; early Def Jam senior executives-turned-cultural advisors Bill Adler and Bill Stephney; artist and writer Questlove; and producer and educator 9th Wonder. An additional panel of advisors was assembled with equal representation from all facets of hip-hop culture.

While music is the centerpiece, the anthology dives into the cultural impact of hip-hop and global influence. It is not a greatest-hits compilation but a narrative of hip-hop’s music, culture and legacy. Spanning musical eras from 1979–2013, the final collection of 129 songs is the first with music from all three major record companies: Sony, Universal and Warner. The anthology is a contextual education on hip-hop’s origin, social and cultural impact, commercial dominance and more. It follows other defining collections from Smithsonian Folkways, the Anthology of American Folk Music and Jazz: The Smithsonian Anthology.

Disc 1 (1979-1982):
Fatback – King Tim III
Sugarhill Gang – Rapper’s Delight
The Sequence – Funk You Up
Kurtis Blow – The Breaks
Funky Four +1 – That’s the Joint
Spoonie Gee feat. The Sequence – Monster Jam
Treacherous Three – The Body Rock
Blondie – Rapture
Grandmaster Flash – The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel
Afrika Bambaataa & The Soulsonic Force – Planet Rock

Disc 2 (1982-1984):
Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five – The Message
The Fearless Four – Rockin It
Cold Crush Brothers – Punk Rock Rap
Herbie Hancock – Rockit
Afrika Bambaataa & The Soulsonic Force – Looking for the Perfect Beat
Run-DMC – It’s Like That
Whodini – Friends
Cold Crush Brothers – Fresh, Fly, Wild & Bold
T. La Rock – It’s Yours
The World’s Famous Supreme Team – Hey! DJ
Newcleus – Jam On It
UTFO – Roxanne, Roxanne

Disc 3 (1984-1987):
Roxanne Shanté – Roxanne’s Revenge
Fat Boys – Fat Boys
Doug E. Fresh & MC Ricky D – La Di Da Di
LL Cool J – I Can’t Live without my Radio
Schoolly D – P.S.K. ‘What Does It Mean?’
Run-DMC feat. Aerosmith – Walk This Way
Beastie Boys – Paul Revere
Ultramagnetic MC’s – Ego Tripping
Ice-T – 6 ‘N The Mornin’
Kool Moe Dee – How Ya Like Me Now
LL Cool J – I Need Love
Eric B feat. Rakim – Eric B is President
Mantronix – King of The Beats

Disc 4 (1987-1989):
Stetsasonic feat. the Rev. Jesse Jackson & Olatunji – A.F.R.I.C.A.
Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – Parents Just Don’t Understand
Audio Two – Top Billin’
MC Lyte – Lyte As A Rock
Big Daddy Kane – Raw
Marley Marl feat. Master Ace, Craig G, Kool G Rap, & Big Daddy Kane – The Symphony
MC Lyte – I Cram to Understand U (Sam)
Tone Lōc – Wild Thing
Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock – It Takes Two
Jungle Brothers – I’ll House You
N.W.A. – Fuck Tha Police
Public Enemy – Fight the Power
The Stop the Violence Movement – Self Destruction
Too Short – Life Is…Too Short
Slick Rick – Children’s Story
3rd Bass – The Gas Face

Disc 5 (1989-1991):
Queen Latifah feat. Monie Love – Ladies First
Public Enemy – Bring the Noise
De La Soul – Me Myself and I
Biz Markie – Just a Friend
The D.O.C. – It’s Funky Enough
2 Live Crew – Me So Horny
Digital Underground – The Humpty Dance
MC Hammer – U Can’t Touch This
Vanilla Ice – Ice Ice Baby
Brand Nubian – All for One
Geto Boys – Mind Playing Tricks on Me
A Tribe Called Quest – Scenario
Black Sheep – The Choice is Yours
Salt-N-Pepa – Let’s Talk About Sex
Yo-Yo feat. Ice-Cube – Can’t Play with My Yo-Yo
Naughty By Nature – O.P.P.

Disc 6 (1992-1994):
Dr. Dre feat. Snoop Doggy Dogg – Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang
Ice Cube – It Was a Good Day
Sir Mix-A-Lot – Baby Got Back
Arrested Development – Tennessee
Digable Planets – Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)
House of Pain – Jump Around
Positive K – I Got a Man
Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth – They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)
UGK – Pocket Full of Stones
Wu-Tang Clan – C.R.E.A.M.
Cypress Hill – Insane In The Brain
The Pharcyde – Passin’ Me By
Eightball & MJG – Comin Out Hard
Common Sense – I Used to Love H.E.R.
Da Brat – Funkdafied
Nas – N.Y. State of Mind
Craig Mack feat. The Notorious B.I.G., Rampage, LL Cool J, Busta Rhymes – Flava In Your Ear

Disc 7 (1994-1997):
Beastie Boys – Sabotage
The Notorious B.I.G. – Juicy
Gang Starr feat. Nice & Smooth – DWYCK
Warren G feat. Nate Dogg – Regulate
Snoop Doggy Dogg – Murder Was The Case
E-40 feat. Suga T – Sprinkle Me
Goodie Mob – Cell Therapy
Coolio feat. L.V. – Gangsta’s Paradise
2Pac – Dear Mama
Mobb Deep – Shook Ones, Part 2
Method Man feat. Mary J. Blige – I’ll Be There For You / You’re All I Need To Get By
Foxy Brown feat. Jay-Z – I’ll Be
Lil Kim feat. Puff Daddy – No Time
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony – Tha Crossroads
Wu-Tang Clan feat. Cappadonna – Triumph
Busta Rhymes – Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See
Master P feat. Silkk The Shocker, Mia X, Fiend – Make ‘Em Say Uhh!

Disc 8 (1997-2003):
Missy Elliot – The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)
Lauryn Hill – Doo Wop (That Thing)
DMX – Ruff Ryders’ Anthem
The Roots – The Next Movement
Mos Def – Mathematics
BG – Bling Bling
dead prez – Hip Hop
Eminem feat. Dido – Stan
OutKast – Ms. Jackson
Nelly – Country Grammar (Hot Shit)
Ludacris feat. Pharrell – Southern Hospitality
Nas – One Mic
50 Cent – In Da Club
Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz feat. Ying Yang Twins – Get Low

Disc 9 (2004-2013):
Talib Kweli – Black Girl Pain
Kanye West – Jesus Walks
Three 6 Mafia feat. Young Buck, Eightball & MJG – Stay Fly
Rick Ross – Hustlin’
Lupe Fiasco feat. Nikki Jean – Hip-Hop Saved My Life
Young Jeezy feat. Nas – My President
David Banner feat. Chris Brown & Yung Joc – Get Like Me
Lil Wayne feat. Robin Thicke – Tie My Hands
Jay Electronica – Exhibit C
Nicki Minaj – Super Bass
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Wanz – Thrift Shop
J Cole feat. TLC – Crooked Smile
Kanye West – Blood On The Leaves
Drake – Started From the Bottom