The Universal Hip Hop Museum is scheduled for an official opening in the year 2023 and will dedicate its space to ensuring the preservation, documentation, and celebration of Hip Hop Culture.
The Hip Hop Museum Artifacts will educate the Hip Hop community of its importance to the culture and influence.
Since its initial beginnings in the 70’s Hip Hop has continued to grow and evolve and is no longer just street music but a global culture people around the world identify with.
I had the privilege of finding out more information regarding the museums plans which you can read about – HERE
Each Artifact listed below in some way, shape or form has a story attached to the item making it unique and special.
While 2023 is still a few years away we are hoping the artifacts listed below appear at the Museum
1. DJ Kool Herc Block Party Flyer
(Source of Image – thesource.com)
Hip Hop was born on the 11th August 1973 when DJ Kool Herc decided to throw a party for the community in the Bronx. Featured on this flyer details the party location which took place at 1520 SEDGWICK AVENUE and would become the foundation of Hip Hop.
It was at these Block parties DJ Kool Herc would develop his style of djing by extending the breakdown of a record which would go onto becoming the blueprint for Hip Hop music. As the breakdown of one record was coming to an end he began to cue up the next leaving no room for silence.
This party could be considered the first-ever Hip-Hop party and the handwritten flyer may be one of the most important artifacts to come from the culture.
What makes this even more special is the Universal Hip Hop Museum will be located in the Bronx which is where it all started, and lovers of Hip Hop should know this history which is why we hope to see it at the museum.
2. Block Party Speakers, Mixers and Turntables
What’s just as important as the flyer? The equipment that birthed Hip Hop!
The block parties represent the early development stages of Hip Hop which consisted of the DJ, turntable, mixer and speakers.
What initially started in 1520 SEDGWICK AVENUE would eventually move to the park and outdoor areas to facilitate the crowd as it grew.
These pieces of equipment contain a rich piece of history and heritage just as the flyer does. It’s not just a speaker, mixer or turntables, but are now artifacts with cultural and historical meaning.
3. Run DMC Adidas Sneakers
As Hip Hop was starting to form its own identity, culture, and style, RUN DMC would be at the forefront in the 80s depicting its street style. The group would go on to release the song my Adidas which would become an instant hit.
So what makes these sneakers an artifact and museum worthy?
The first-ever endorsement deal between a music act and an athletic company is what the Adidas sneakers represent and has since opened doors for many others.
What gets even more interesting with this story is that Lyon Cohen (RUN-DMC’s manager at the time) invited Adidas to Madison Square garden in which RUN-DMC instructed the crowd to hold up their Adidas sneakers during the song performance.
This moment would go on to mark time but also demonstrate just how powerful Hip Hop culture was becoming.
4. J Dilla’s MPC
(Image source – www.vintagesynth.com)
A massive part of Hip Hop tradition is sampling old records with new infused sounds which is what the late producer J Dilla demonstrated throughout his career effortlessly.
What’s interesting about this is J Dilla’s MPC currently lives in the National Museum of African American history and culture which is based in Washington DC.
Dilla’s unique technique is often described as humanizing the MPC machine.
Like many other hip-hop producers, the MPC has been used to layer sounds from soul, jazz and blues to sit perfectly on top of a typical hip-hop breakbeat.
With technology becoming more advanced every year which sees new producers innovating with new technology and producing music with software, this physical piece of equipment speaks to a time in Hip Hop responsible for a catalogue of hits and the go to piece of equipment when it comes to sampling sounds and giving it a hip-hop vibe.
Many may not understand the importance the MPC has played in Hip Hop culture which is why it needs to be placed in the Universal Hip Hop museum!
5. Signed Hip Hop Vinyl’s
Hip Hop music started on turntables at the block parties, so the Vinyl actually has deep roots in the culture as it built the foundation. In addition to this, Vinyl pressed albums have been a great teller of classic albums which have helped shaped the culture.
Albums such as Illmatic, The Chronic, It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, Blueprint, Midnight Marauders, Doggystyle and Straight Outta Compton to name a few are some of the classics we hope to see, signed by the acts themselves.
There’s a certain prestige about Vinyl Albums which help tell the story of Hip Hop.
6. Merchandise and Memorabilia
Relatively early on Hip Hop acts understood the power of their music which allowed for brand extension opportunities in the form of merchandise and apparel.
Merchandise also does a great job in regard to storytelling. For example, Death Row Merchandise placed in the museum today would allow the opportunity to explore the history of west coast Hip Hop and its overall dominance during the 90s!
Not only merchandise but memorabilia has been influential to those wanting to collect items closely related to Hip Hop that has significance.
7. Magazine and Publications
(Image source – thesource.com)
With the internet at full scale maturity and dominance of social media, we have seen multiple publications now create content online with less focus on producing physical magazines.
Publications such as the source magazine created a brand by constantly capturing Hip Hop artists at their best, provide exclusive interviews and photos. Today this all happens online, which weirdly enough creates demand for old magazines.
Some magazine issues are hard to come by which is why supporters of UHHM are donating old magazines to be preserved and kept.
8. Nostalgia based Photographs
(Image source – thesource.com)
The saying is “Pictures worth a thousand words” which is absolutely true.
Not only are pictures worth a thousand words but they tell stories and these stories need to be told in the Universal Hip Hop Museum.
Photographs of the early B Boys and Girls, The Block Parties, artists recording their debut albums, live performances, Hip Hop’s involvement in the community, The DJ’s, Graffiti art work and street dance etc.
Due to the popularity and commercialization of Hip Hop has meant in many ways History being forgotten & old photos will provide context into how Hip Hop was naturally formed while showing its evolution and how it looks today. Preserving Hip-Hop’s culture no matter how much time goes by should be the number 1 goal which these photos will help accomplish.
9. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince’s Grammy Certificate
Finally, the first Hip Hop Grammy Award goes to the duo – DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince which is a pivotal turning point in the cultures History.
This took place in 1989 and meant that the culture would be respected as an official art form. Prior to the award Hip Hop was still a relatively new genre which took a while to be respected by the masses. This award would signify the importance of Hip Hop and would lead to future Hip Hop categories at the Grammys.
The Grammy’s recording academy provides certificates to anyone who was creatively or professionally involved in a GRAMMY-winning or GRAMMY-nominated recording and while the acts own the physical Grammy Award, the certificate to represent this achievement for the museum would be something very special.
Whether the items listed above make it to the museum or not each item speaks to the rich history and culture of Hip Hop. The museum itself being located in the Bronx is homage to its initial beginnings while also allowing the opportunity to be a point of community, tourist attraction, place of planning and innovating Hip Hop forward.
The museum will span across two floors providing a range of artifacts and items for preservation and education. The universal Hip Hop museum will also include a space for live performances, DJ Booth and recording studio.
Aside from artifacts the museum will be a great opportunity to shine light on those who have contributed to the culture in many ways.
With plans to open in 2023 the museum is still open for donation and support.
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