Smithsonian Folkway Recordings is producing a nine-CD anthology and a 300-page book that details the history of hip hop since the 1970s.

With the growing popularity of hip hop music, many collections of the genre have been produced over the years. However, no compilation thus far has included music from each of the major labels, as well as recordings produced by lesser-known independent labels. However, Smithsonian’s Folkway Recordings will soon release its nine-CD Anthology of Hip Hop and Rap, a comprehensive collection that will include "the best of the best" of hip hop and explore themes and important issues that the genre has brought to the public’s attention throughout its history. [caption id="attachment_5384" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Hip-Hop courtesy of The Smithsonian[/caption] The nine-CD compilation will feature more than 120 hip hop tracks and will be accompanied by a 300-page book, which will include a collection of stories, visuals, artists's essays, and rare photos that are a part of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture collection. [caption id="attachment_5383" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Hip-Hop courtesy of france 24[/caption]
Though the final track list has not been finalized, the anthology will include everything from music from the 1979 Sugarhill Gang hit “Rapper’s Delight” (considered the very first rap single) to music by 1980s rap pioneers Run DMC to the music of influential 1990s groups such as Tribe Called Quest, all the way up to the 2000s with the inclusion of Rapper Eminem’s story-tell rap song “Stan.” Smithsonian Folkway Recordings will also be including one-hit wonder tracks such as Vanilla Ice’s “Ice-Ice Baby.” Artists and MCs in the hip hop world (such as Chuck D, Questlove and MC Lyte) have helped to coordinate the project as have numerous industry authors, veterans, and scholars. [caption id="attachment_5386" align="aligncenter" width="700"]Hip-Hop courtesy of popblerd.com/Late Night With Jimmy Fallon[/caption]   The Smithsonian has started a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to help keep costs down and make it as affordable as possible for fans of the genre. A $100 donation to the campaign gets hip hop fans the Anthology, which would ordinarily cost more than double the donation amount. Donating to the Kickstarter campaign also gets fans a copy before it hits store shelves while higher level donations come with extras such as hip hop trading cards, a cling-on decal of the box set cover art, and a subscription to the Smithsonian magazine. A highest-level donation gets fans a tour of the National Museum of African History and Culture with Questlove of the Hip-Hop Band The Roots. The Anthology is expected to be released in December of 2018, but if you want to get a copy earlier (and cheaper), the Smithsonian’s Kickstarter campaign runs until November 15.

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