Hip-Hop Will Become a Part of the Smithsonian

A hip-hop exhibit entitled “Hip-Hop Won’t Stop: the Beat, the Rhymes, the Life” will be launched in the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of American History in Washington.

According to the Washington Post, the exhibit will debut in the next three to five years.This is the first of its kind for the Smithsonian and it will be an always developing exhibit about the 30-year history of hip-hop.

According to allhiphop.com, rapper Ice T., Def Jam Records founder Russell Simmons, breakdancer Crazy Legs and others held a press conference on Feb. 28 at the New York Hilton to announce the project. Artifact donations from rappers Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Flash and the pioneering female rapper McLyte were also on display.

Therman Hopkins a student at the University if Maryland Eastern Shore said, “I think that this is great for hip hop. It shows that hip hop has made a positive impact on the society. I actually think that it should because of the number of years that it has existed and how it has evolved into rappers being part of other effective things like movies, clothes and etc.”

“I feel the move by the museum is a savvy one to increase interest and participation by the younger generation in American history across the spectrum,”said Jahdai Dawes, a student at Howard University. “Hip-hop culture is certainly a global phenomenon, so to include it the National American History museum is quite appropriate. I am pleased that the museum is taking significant steps in the right direction to acknowledging the vast achievements of various cultures.”

There are other museums picking up on the history of hip-hop and its ties to American culture. In June the Brooklyn Museum of Art plans to feature graffiti art, spokesperson Adam Husted told the Associated Press. In 2000 the museum had an exhibit called "Hip-Hop Nation: Roots, Rhymes & Rage."

Also the Museum of the City of New York plans to have "Black Style Now" in September which discusses hip-hop’s impact on fashion and black fashion designers.

With the rap group Three Six Mafia’s recent win at the Academy Award’s, National Museum spokeswoman Valeska Hilbig’s statement to the Associated Press holds true, "It’s [hip-hop] here to stay, and it’s part of American culture just like jazz is part of American history."