The Smithsonian launched a 30-day Kickstarter campaign on Monday for its “Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap” exhibit to be housed at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, according to a press release from the museum.

The compilation is described as “a powerful cultural statement told through an unequaled combination of music, text and stunning visuals.”

It will be produced and released by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, and includes nine CDs, more than 120 tracks and a 300-page book with extensive liner notes, the release states. Also included will be essays penned by artists and scholars, along with “never-before-published photographs from the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s collection.”

“The Kickstarter campaign to produce a hip-hop and rap anthology is one of the most important projects on contemporary history that the Smithsonian will ever undertake, because it shows that Smithsonian’s work is as much about today and tomorrow as it is about yesterday,” said Lonnie G. Bunch III, founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. “Hip-hop is a musical revolution that embodies the voice of an entire generation and that’s why it’s important for the museum to partner with the hip-hop community and Folkways Recordings to tell this story. Hip-hop helps us to understand the power of black music and the impact of African American culture on the world.”

The “Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop will serve as the museum’s first collection to include music from every major label, as well as dozens of independent label recordings. It will explore important issues and themes in hip-hop history, but provide a unique “window into the many ways hip-hop has created new traditions and furthered musical and cultural traditions of the African diaspora.”

“We have always been passionately committed to documenting and celebrating music with strong social impact,” said Huib Schippers, director and curator of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. “Hip-hop began in the 1970s as a distinctly African-American urban culture that has since become a global phenomenon. This box set is a perfect addition to our catalog.”

For more on the campaign and/or to donate, visit the Kickstarter project’s page.



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