Roughly forty-five years since hip-hop culture emerged, pioneering artists, life-long fans, industry mavens, and keen collectors have amassed collections of mixtapes, demos, and other recorded artifacts. These collections are essential to the definition of localized hip-hop scenes, providing crucial insights onto the people, places, aesthetics and other often-obscure details that trace the arc of cultural development.
This panel aims to increase the visibility of these collections to recording professionals, imparting an understanding about the emergent role of preservation in hip-hop culture and the cultural, artistic, and historical significance of hip-hop’s early cassette-based recordings (mixtapes, bootleg recordings, “demo” versions, etc.)
We will address the challenges and rewards of maintaining institutional archival practices while supporting the real-world practices of local communities. What are the operational nuances and path dependencies that emerge? Furthermore, we discuss the implementation of technologies needed to preserve, archive, and distribute hip-hop, and how DJs, artists, collectors, archivists, librarians, producers, engineers, and forward-thinking technologists can work together.
Mark D. Campbell, PhD
Founder, Northside Hip Hop Archive/University of Toronto, CAN
Co-Founder, Bigger Than Hip Hop radio show
Founder, the Massachusetts Hip-Hop Archive/UMass Boston, MA
Regan Sommer McCoy
Founder, The Mixtape Museum/Columbia University, NY
Producer, Hip-Hop Can Save America podcast