Hip hop is taking over DC. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture just opened an exhibition, “Represent: Hip-Hop Photography.” The exhibit, which opened Friday, was originally featured at the museum from 2018 to 2019 and will run until September 25.
The D.C. museum’s Earl W. and Amanda Stafford Center for African American Media Arts gallery, located on the second floor, houses the exhibit. It features photographs from hip-hop historian Bill Adler’s Eyejammie Hip Hop Photography Collection, which tells the story of hip hop’s early days and rise as a cultural force into the late 1990s. The collection was acquired by the museum in 2015. 60 other photographers are also featured in the exhibition, providing hundreds of photos that paint a more complete picture.
The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum. In one sense, it’s regarded as the steward of our nation’s history and shared understanding. The inclusion of hip hop is natural, as it is the #1 music genre and arguably, the greatest force shaping our modern times.