Photos from the Smithsonian’s new hip-hop collection

Public Enemy in front of a “Don’t Believe the Hype” mural, 1988. 

Hip-hop and rap have made an indelible mark on music and popular culture in America. Now that influence is being chronicled by the Smithsonian in an expansive collection of music, photos and stories.

The Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap is part of a joint venture between the National Museum of African American History and Culture and Smithsonian Folkways Recordings to tell the story of hip-hop. The anthology comprises nine CDs and a 300-page book with liner notes, essays by artists and scholars and never-before-published photographs.

To help make the anthology a reality, a 30-day Kickstarter campaign was launched and recently reached. Backers of the campaign will receive rewards based on their donation level including limited edition trading cards featuring hip-hop icons designed by Mike Thompson. 

Credit: Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of the Jack Mitchell Archives

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