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Grammy Museum Announces Hip-Hop 50th Anniversary Exhibit

The 5000-square foot installation will celebrate hip-hop culture by featuring an array of iconic hip-hop artifacts.

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LL Cool J - Photo: Paul Natkin/WireImage
LL Cool J - Photo: Paul Natkin/WireImage

The 50th anniversary of hip-hop celebrations will continue this fall, and the Grammy Museum just announced their own tribute. Titled Hip-Hop America: The Mixtape Exhibit, this new 5000-square foot installation will celebrate hip-hop culture by featuring an array of iconic hip-hop artifacts including the Notorious B.I.G.’s red leather pea jacket, LL Cool J’s red Kangol bucket hat, and more.

In addition, the exhibit will host an interactive Sonic Playground, described as five interactive stations that invite visitors of all ages to unleash their creativity through DJing, rapping and sampling. The exhibit launches on Sat, Oct. 7 and will run through Sept. 4, 2024. Ticket information can be found at the museum’s website.

Visitors will also get the chance to see Tupac Shakur’s handwritten essay “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death,” circa 1992, the black suede fedora hat and Adidas Superstars belonging to Darryl “DMC” McDaniels of Run-D.M.C, and Kurtis Blow’s original handwritten lyrics for his 1980 hit single, “The Breaks,” the first gold-certified rap song. Additionally featured will be two outfits designed by Harlem fashion icon Dapper Dan: a half-length black leather jacket worn by Melle Mel in a performance at the 1985 Grammy Awards, and a black-and-yellow leather bucket hat and jacket worn by New York hip-hop artist Busy Bee.

The exhibit was curated by a team of four experts: Felicia Angeja Viator, associate professor of history, San Francisco State University, author of To Live And Defy In LA: How Gangsta Rap Changed America, and one of the first women DJs in the Bay Area hip-hop scene; Adam Bradley, professor of English and founding director of the Laboratory for Race and Popular Culture (the RAP Lab) at UCLA, and co-editor of The Anthology of Rap; Jason King, dean, USC Thornton School of Music and former chair of the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at NYU; and Dan Charnas, associate arts professor, NYU Clive Davis Institute of Music, and author of Dilla Time: The Life And Afterlife Of The Hip-Hop Producer Who Reinvented Rhythm. The co-curators worked in conjunction with GRAMMY Museum Chief Curator and VP of Curatorial Affairs Jasen Emmons as well as a 20-member Advisory Board.

Explore the Hip-Hop At 50 vinyl collection.

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