Of all the hip-hop pioneers who spoke at yesterday’s press conference announcing the launch of the Smithsonian’s drive to collect hip-hop’s historical artifacts, only Russell Simmons seemed to recognize the paradox — how can rap still belong to the streets, to the outsiders, if it’s enshrined and celebrated in a museum? ”My first thoughts were [darn], the party’s over,” he said. Still, curators said no one turned them down, though there’s not much in the collection yet — a couple of turntables from Grandmaster Flash (pictured), some of Afrika Bambaataa’s custom clothes, MC Lyte’s diary, Fab 5 Freddy’s boom box.
What other artifacts belong in the Smithsonian? Tupac’s ‘do rag? Run-DMC’s first pairs of Adidas? Lil’ Kim’s pasties? Hammer’s parachute pants? DJ Jazzy Jeff? Help the curators with your suggestions, PopWatchers.