THE AFRIKA BAMBAATAA MASTER OF RECORDS OPEN ARCHIVE
New York, NY 10014
Gavin Brown’s enterprise and Johan Kugelberg/Boo-Hooray Gallery, together with Afrika Bambaataa, the Universal Zulu Nation, and Cornell University Library announce the public archiving of one of the most important record collections in the history of hip hop:
The Afrika Bambaataa Master of Records vinyl archive.
From July 11 through August 10, Kugelberg and his team will be organizing, cataloguing, and documenting Afrika Bambaataa’s peerless vinyl collection at Gavin Brown’s enterprise, Monday through Friday between 12 – 5 PM. Visitors are encouraged to stop by, hear some great music and see how the cultural artifacts of this important strand of American history are preserved.
Open archiving, like an archeological dig or a group of students viewing biological research in a museum, is an important and rarely seen part of the process of documenting history. Before the Afrika Bambaataa archive moves to its permanent home at Cornell University’s Hip Hop Collection in the Fall of 2013, Johan Kugelberg and Gavin Brown’s enterprise offer visitors a unique opportunity to experience what is arguably the most important gathering of vinyl in the history of hip hop while it is sorted, organized, archived (and DJ'd) in full view of the public.
Please join the Afrika Bambaataa vinyl archive mailing list and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for announcements of visiting DJs playing selections from the archive during the sort.
Join the mailing list here.
Afrika Bambaataa is considered the godfather of hip hop culture and was instrumental in the rise of electro funk and break-beat deejaying beginning in the 1980s. His involvement with Bronx street gang the Black Spades in their transformation into community activists is legendary, as is his founding of the internationally known hip hop organization Universal Zulu Nation. Bambaataa is responsible for spreading and popularizing hip hop’s unmistakable sounds and beats alongside its culture throughout the world.
Originally from the South Bronx, New York, Afrika Bambaataa is among the most influential American DJs.
Due to his early use and mixing of drum machines and computer sounds, Bambaataa created signature beats (such as his first widely popular single “Planet Rock” of 1982), which helped fuel the development of other musical genres such as Freestyle or Latin Freestyle, Miami Bass, Electronica, House, Hip House, and early Techno. He has consistently made records nationally and internationally, spanning the 1980s into the 2000s.
In 2012 Afrika Bambaataa was appointed to a three-year term as a Visiting Scholar at Cornell University, where his vinyl collection will reside as part of the Cornell University Library Hip Hop Collection, the largest collection on Hip Hop culture in the world.