At the age 50, Hip Hop is finally understood as an essential facet of world-wide culture, with wide-ranging influence on our shared world. The continued lack of hip hop documents in traditional archives indicates both a lack of interest in, or understanding of that impact, as well as the inherent ephemerality of the five pillars of hip hop, leaving interested archivists without a path for documentation.
Taking Mark V. Campbell’s assertion that archival presentations of hip hop “signal the continued importance of the culture’s fifth element: knowledge” which “indicate[s] an ‘archival state of mind’ with increased attentiveness to the preservation of hip-hop culture through lived, embodied and affective practices” pathways to documentation do exist, and can be replicated in traditional archival settings.
This special issue of the Journal of Archival Organization will focus on the efforts of creators, collectors, activists, scholars, archivists, and polymaths that can guide and inspire the collecting, study and celebration of hip hop in all of its forms. We welcome original research articles, review articles, and critical essays that examine the intersection of hip-hop and archives.