Hip-Hop Gets Recognized

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to feature hip-hop conference and exhibit

Hip-Hop is finally being recognized by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. TheCleveland-based museum and foundation|, along with the Cleveland State University's Black Studies Department, will sponsor a three-day conference from Friday, September 10 to Sunday, the 12th. The museum has also commissioned a travelling hip-hop exhibit that is already scheduled for three cities.

Titled Hip-Hop: A Cultural Expression, the conference will feature keynote addresses from Chuck D, KRS-One and journalist Nelson George, who recently published Hip-Hop America.

Panels will cover a plethora of issue from dance to the artform's Jamaican roots to a hip-hop journalism panel featuring former Vibe editors Danyel Smith and Alan Light (who currently helms Spin), as well as Kevin Powell, Greg Tate, Charlie Braxton, and Harry Allen. Deeper issues such as whether or not hip-hop has sold out will also be discussed.

The conference will be a foretaste of things to come at the museum. On November 11, the Jersey City-based firm Alternative Design will present Roots, Rhymes & Rage: The Hip-Hop Story. The interactive, exhibit pays homage to the culture with five sections: The Roots, Standing in the B-Boy Stance, The Golden Era, The Black CNN and Pop Goes The Culture. Alternative Design's president/ creative director Courtney Sloane and her creative team designed the exhibit while the text was written by Kevin Powell, who is also acting as the exhibit's curatorial consultant.

The 2300 square foot exhibit will occupy three floors of the museum, Sloane says. "Each floor dissects different aspects of the culture. It will remove mystique that surrounds the culture."

The exhibit will be interactive with a live DJ, and a computer that allows visitors to practice scratching and sampling. There will also be authentic artifacts in the exhibit such as Grandmaster Flash's Kangol, Kool Herc's outfit from the film Beat Street, Busta Rhymes's coat and hat and Eminem's ripped T-shirt.

The exhibit will stay at The Hall of Fame for approximately eight months, after which it will be moved to the Brooklyn Museum and Anacostia Museum in Washington D.C.