The landmark Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap is here. 

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The first of it’s kind book arrived over the weekend boasting 120 tracks, nine CDs, a 300-page book with eleven essays, extensive track-by-track liner notes and never-before-published images. 

In terms of music, the Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap dives into four decades of Hip-Hop beginning with the 1979 Fatback track “King Tim the Third (Personality)” and ending with Kanye West’s 2013 single “Blood on the Leaves.” 


“Born in Bronx and raised across the American West and South, hip-hop is one of the most influential genres of music in the modern era,” said Kevin Young.

The Director of the Andrew W. Mellon at NMAAHC added, “Through beats, dynamic rhymes and pointed lyricism, hip-hop has provided a platform for communities and generations to voice their ongoing struggles and has changed society and culture around the world.”

The box set’s curation began in 2014 with an executive committee consisting of rappers MC Lyte and Public Enemy‘s Chuck D, writers and scholars Adam Bradley, Jeff Chang, Cheryl Keyes and Mark Anthony Neal, early Def Jam executives Bill Adler and Bill Stephney, artist-director Questlove and producer 9th Wonder.

Over the following seven years, the NMAAHC assembled additional panels of advisors to ensure equal representation across all subsets of hip-hop and rap.

Other artists featured include the  Beastie Boys, Notorious B.I.G., 2Pac, Goodie Mob, Lauryn Hill, Nicki Minaj and many more.