After completing a three-year stint as visiting scholar at Cornell University, Afrika Bambaataa will have his complete DJ Collection archived by the Cornell Library Hip Hop Collection.
Bambaataa’s records will now be available to researchers, students and the public with help from a grant of $260,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities, according to the Cornell Chronicle.
“This unique, hand-inscribed documentation by one of hip-hop’s founding DJs will enable students and scholars to reconstruct hip-hop’s invention through its most celebrated and influential collection of records,” said Katherine Reagan, Rare Book and Manuscript Curator at Cornell. “In preserving Bambaataa’s archive and making it open and accessible, Cornell University Library will support a growing body of international scholars and educators who study hip-hop not only for its global influence on popular music, art and style, but its role in articulating social and political issues.”
Bambaataa is often dubbed as the “Godfather of Hip Hop.” He was also a member of a Bronx gang called the Black Spades, and he’s responsible for reportedly naming the genre of hip hop, and establishing Djing, graffiti, and breakdancing.
The 2007 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has about 20,000 vinyl records all in about 450 boxes, which most are annotated by Bambaataa himself. In hindsight, Cornell is looking to create a complete list of Bambaataa’s vinyl with album sleeves that will be fully annotated by Bambaataa.
Interesting enough, the records are in chronological order by date of purchase.
Congrats on the honor, Afrika! Well deserved.