This month I am going to feature GREATEST HITS….not just any old GREATEST HITS….I am going to feature some of the “GREATEST”…GREATEST HIT ALBUMS OF ALL-TIME.
Most will be the greatest hits by certain artists, except for my first feature…This one is actually for a WHOLE GENRE of music. It will span nearly five decades of Hip-hop and Rap music.
It gives me great pleasure to present,
SMITHSONIAN ANTHOLOGY of HIP-HOP and RAP
And, they said it would not last.
Well, it’s been 48 years and counting!
Did you know that 8/11, is the exact birthday of Hip-hop?
Hip-hop started at a block party in the Bronx. The DJ was DJ Kool Herc and the rest is history!
Back in the day, I was the Director of hip-hop and rap for a large National chain of music stores. My career in music started before hip-hop / rap began so I was fortunate to see the rise of rap from the beginning. I was able to have access and to work with record labels, rappers, producers, the first predominately rap radio station (1580 KDAY) and many others that were pioneers of the genre. At the time the most prestigious hip-hop monthly magazine was “The Source”. The Source Magazine launched an annual award to honor the people who worked behind the scenes and were essential to the success of hip-hip and rap music. When “The Source” launched their first “Power 30” list it was filled with C.E.O.’s and Presidents of rap record labels, major media outlets for hip-hop like MTV, The Box and major rap producers. I did not expect to be recognized on this prestigious list but there I was at #17. This was one of the greatest honors of my career. There were no other rap buyers or retail executives on this list. I was BEYOND HONORED to see my name among so many pioneers and industry leaders of hip-hop. Through the years I received a lot of high-profile accolades to include a Living Legend Award from the Living Legends Foundation, but my greatest award (and reward) was from happy customers that found their hip hop music in my stores.
When the historic Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and Folkways Recordings partnered to compile and release the definitive recordings that would document and celebrate 45 years of hip-hop and rap music and culture they called on a group of people to select the songs that were fitting for such an important anthology.
They wanted to compile a collection of music that would chronologically define the growth of hip-hop and rap as it became the dominant genre of music.
Hip hop has become the most influential and one of the most important genres of the modern era. Worldwide this music has been the voice of struggle, social justice, injustice, change and culture. Rap music has transcended from just a genre of music into a culture known as Hip-hop. The Hip-hop culture is now a driving force in “POP CULTURE”. Everywhere you look you can see the impact that hip-hop has had on trends, clothing, dance, the arts, politics, poetry, films, sports and more. Rap music and the hip-hop culture has touched and changed the world.
Through the years I have worked on compilations for various labels, and I was the Executive Producer on a tribute to rap that I released through Priority Records in 1997. The album was called “In the Beginning There Was Rap” and it featured top hip hop artists doing covers of some of their favorite songs. The album paid homage to rappers who influenced them or came before them. It was certified Gold and debuted at number 4 on Billboard’s R&B / Hip-Hop Albums Chart.
Previously Smithsonian Folkways released extensive collections on Folk Music and on Jazz. For their third historical release they decided to celebrate the newest voice and dominant genre of music…HIP-HOP and RAP.
I was invited to have a voice in the selection of the songs that would be included on this definitive anthology of hip-hop and rap.
How do you put over 45 years of musical history into one disc?
It was impossible so the collection turned into 9 discs…129 definitive songs and a beautiful 300-page collectors book written by hip-hop’s leading writers and critics.
The book also contains hundreds of iconic photos spanning the decades of hip-hop….1973—2018.
The final songs that were chosen for this ground-breaking and historical release were compiled by a committee of well-respected rappers, scholars, writers, aficionado’s, music critics and industry leaders. The committee was led by rappers Chuck D of Public Enemy and MC Lyte, Jeff Chang and Mark Anthony Neil (writers and scholars), Bill Adler and Bill Stephney (early Def Jam Executives), Questlove (artist and writer) and 9th Wonder (educator).
I was asked to submit 100 songs that I felt were worthy of being on this important piece of hip-hop history. I was quite pleased when I saw that many of my selections made the cut and are on SMITHSONIAN’S ANTHOLOGY of HIP-HOP and RAP.
At the end of this feature I am including a few of my favorite personal photos that I took with some of the ICONS of HIP-HOP
I am not going to go into individual songs because these songs were chosen to represent the entire genre, sub-genres and the culture of hip-hop as a whole. The 129 songs that were selected are a taste of each artist’s impact on the culture. This release is currently a one-of-a-kind project. The liner notes are extensive, the photos and the book make this an amazing addition to every fan’s collection. If you love this music, you NEED this anthology in YOUR collection. If you want to know more about hip-hop, this release is for YOU. This will make an AMAZING gift for a loved one that happens to LOVE HIP-HOP and RAP.
The entire package is IMPRESSIVE!
Smithsonian’s Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap will be released on August 20th, 2021 but it is available now for pre-order. Order your copy today from DeepDiscount.com and be one of the first to have this amazing piece of hip-hop history. Here is the link!