SMITHSONIAN’S DOORS OPEN TO A HIP-HOP BEAT
By Ben Sisario, NYT
Grandmaster Flash gave his prized Technics turntable. Ice-T offered vintage tour T-shirts and rare CD’s. Afrika Bambaataa gave a trove of jackets, caps and jewelry in his trademark Afrocentric style.
All will go to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History in Washington, where they will reside alongside the flag that inspired "The Star-Spangled Banner" and the Woolworth’s lunch counter from Greensboro, N.C., where four black students sat for civil rights in 1960.
At an emotional and at times rowdy news conference yesterday at the Hilton New York, a group of hip-hop pioneers gathered beside the dark-suited, white-gloved Smithsonian staff to announce a plan for a major new collection devoted to the music. Called "Hip-Hop Won’t Stop: The Beat, the Rhymes, the Life," it is to be a broad sampling of memorabilia, from boomboxes and vinyl albums to handwritten lyrics and painted jeans jackets, as well as multimedia exhibits and oral histories.
"Now whenever anybody asks me about my music," Ice-T said, he would direct him — with a torrent of blunt epithets — "to the museum."
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