AES New York 2019
Archiving and Restoration Track Event AR02

Friday, October 18, 10:15 am — 11:15 am (1E11)

Archiving & Restoration: AR02 - Cache Rules Everything Around Me: Archiving and Preserving Hip-Hop in a Digital Age

R. Sommer McCoy, The Mixtape Museum/Columbia University - New York, NY, USA; Hip-Hop Hacks - The Brooklyn Academy of Music
Rocky Bucano, Universal Hip-Hop Museum
Manny Faces, The Center for Hip-Hop Advocacy - Newark, NJ, USA
Syreeta Gates
DJ Rich Nice
DJ Dirty Harry, FUBU Radio - New York, NY, USA

The early recordings of hip-hop’s beginnings are in danger of deterioration. The genesis of hip hop began roughly 46 years ago and was largely captured on the celebrated medium of the time, the compact cassette. Cassettes captured hip-hop’s early sounds at live performances and park jams. Decades later, many of these one-of-a-kind recordings live in unstable environments exposed to elements that can erase their existence.

In an effort to rescue, preserve, and restore these original recordings, initiatives like The Mixtape Museum are organizing for solutions. In addition, we are witnessing an unprecedented effort to archive hip-hop in museums, cultural heritage institutions, and libraries, and an expanded presence in the burgeoning field of hip-hop scholarship.

This panel examines:

• The cultural, artistic, and historical significance of hip-hop’s early cassette-based recordings (mixtapes, bootleg recordings, “demo” versions, etc.) and the importance of preserving them.
• The technical and engineering challenges unique to hip-hop. Where and how do current technologies play a role?
• Who can implement the technologies needed to preserve, archive, and distribute hip-hop? How can DJs, artists, collectors, archivists, librarians, producers, engineers, and technologists collaborate on these efforts
• The current unprecedented effort to archive hip-hop in private collections, museums, cultural heritage institutions, and libraries. What are the pros and cons of academic institutions vs. community-driving preservation?

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