Smithsonian Hip-Hop Curator Talks Exhibit

The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History recently announced it would host the permanent Hip-Hop exhibit, Hip-Hop Won't Stop: The Beat, The Rhymes, The Life.

The project's curator, Marvette Perez, told that the exhibit would represent all aspects of Hip-Hop culture, including rhyme books, graffiti, video and audio, as well as the impact that the music has had on society.

"We want to do it the right. We want to go and start with the South Bronx with the people who were there in the beginning doing it--breakdancers, graffiti artists, MCs, DJs," Perez said. "We want to collect the technology of it, the posters, the photographs, oral histories and take it globally. [Hip-Hop] will be around forever so we need to get with it."

The project will amass a permanent collection of artifacts that document Hip-Hop's growth, from its halcyon days in the South Bronx to the global dominator of pop culture it is today.

"There [are] a lot of misconceptions about what Hip-Hop is, among people who are not connected to the music itself," Perez continued. "I think the Smithsonian is a great place to dismiss those misconceptions, to educate people and to create a space where we can look at this truly wonderful American cultural phenomenon."

Russell Simmons' Hip-Hop Summit Action Network and Universal Music donated the initial funding that enabled the museum to launch the project.