HARI In-House Blog

HARI Collections: February 2018 Additions

We archive the Hiphop Underground.
In order to do so, we have to reimagine what an archive can be.


HARI is uncompromising in our commitment to build and support intellectually challenging and innovative scholarship that both reflects the rigor and achievement of performance in Hiphop as well as transforms our thinking and our lives. We serve to organize and develop collections, initiate and participate in research activities, sponsor events and acquire material culture associated with Hiphop in the U.S. and throughout the world. We curate all forms of Hiphop material culture including recordings, videos, websites, films, original papers, works, references, productions, conferences, meetings, interviews, publications, research, formal proceedings, etc.

Check out the latest additions to our collections: 
 

DAMN. COLLECTOR'S EDITION. by Kendrick Lamar 
 



DAMN. COLLECTOR’S EDITION. is the special re-release of Kendrick Lamar’s fourth studio album DAMN, featuring a new cover and a reverse tracklist. In conversation with Zane Lowe on Apple's Beats 1 Radio, Kendrick explains how DAMN. dives into "the idea of: 'I can't change the world until I change myself.' So when you listen to records like 'PRIDE.,' 'HUMBLE.,' 'LUST.,' and 'LOVE.,' these are all just human emotions and me looking in the mirror and coming to grips with them." Kendrick expresses his approach to making music as grounded in operating as a vessel while also incorporating "different things and wordplays and messages...because I want it to live further than two weeks." DAMN.'s original April 2017 release embodied his intentionality as fans dove headfirst into the music and quickly developed intense theories about a forthcoming second album or playing the album in reverse.  Kendrick confirmed four months later that the ability to play DAMN. both forward and backward was premeditated. He explained further how the track order induces a change in the feel of the album rather than the story: “The initial vibe listening from the top all the way to the bottom is ... this aggression and this attitude. You know, ‘DNA,’ and exposing who I really am. You listen from the back end, and it’s almost the duality and the contrast of the intricate Kendrick Lamar. Both of these pieces are who I am.”



WOMAN by Jill Scott
 

Released on July 24, 2015, Woman is Grammy Award-winning artist Jill Scott's fifth studio album. On NPR's All Songs Considered with Arun Rath,  Jill Scott paints the album as "kind of the study of a human being and what I find is we're more alike than we are different." The record began with a look back into her past and where she has been as well as how she has changed since she began journaling at age 12. The result was a project reflective of her present identity as a woman. She explains: "One of the biggest aspects of being a woman, being an adult, thoroughly and authentically, is holding yourself accountable and going through this album I am definitely holding myself accountable. I'm looking at what's been done but also what part I had to play in my own joy or demise."

 

THE EDUCATION OF KEVIN POWELL: A BOY'S JOURNEY INTO MANHOOD
by Kevin Powell 

 

In the spirit of Piri Thomas’s Down These Mean Streets and Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, writer and activist Kevin Powell’s memoir—“illuminating…an education for us all” (USA Today)—vividly recounts the horrific poverty of his youth and his struggles to overcome a legacy of anger, violence, and self-hatred.

When Kevin Powell was three, he discovered the volatile nature of his world: a place of pain, poverty, violence, fire, rats, roaches, and a fear that would haunt him for years; but also moments of joy, transcendence, and belonging. By the time he graduated from high school, something his single mother and his grandparents did not do, Powell had survived abuse, abandonment by his father, debilitating low self-esteem, a police beating, and years of constant relocation—from school to school, neighborhood to neighborhood. He was left feeling isolated, wondering if his life had any value, and doubting that he would survive to see old age.

In this unflinchingly honest autobiography, Kevin Powell reflects on his tumultuous, turbulent passage from child to man. He revisits the path that led him to become a successful writer, public speaker, activist, and cast member on the influential first season of MTV’s The Real World. He also recalls the terrible lows he endured of depression, thoughts of suicide, alcoholism, bankruptcy, doomed relationships, failed political campaigns, and the soul-shattering murder of Tupac Shakur.

Time and again, Powell harks back to lessons his mother taught him as a little boy: never stop learning, never stop telling the truth, always strive to be a better man, do what is right. Written with urgency and insight by one of the most gifted voices of our times, The Education of Kevin Powell is a powerful chronicle of healing and growth, survival and redemption. Ultimately, Kevin Powell’s journey is our journey, too.
 

ELOQUENT RAGE: A BLACK FEMINIST DISCOVERS HER SUPERPOWER
by Brittney Cooper

 

Joy Reid, Cosmopolitan: "A dissertation on black women’s pain and possibility; an autobiography of a black woman’s complicated dance with feminism, overcoming otherness as a big black girl in a skinny-white-girl world, her mother’s triumph over violence, and her own journey from disappointment to black joy." 

Melissa Harris Perry says: “I was waiting for an author who wouldn’t forget, ignore, or erase us black girls as they told their own story...I was waiting and she has come―in Brittney Cooper.” 

Michael Eric Dyson says: “Cooper may be the boldest young feminist writing today. Her critique is sharp, her love of Black people and Black culture is deep, and she will make you laugh out loud.” 

Rebecca Traister says: "Brittney Cooper is a national treasure."

Mychal Denzel Smith says: "Brittney Cooper is the Black Feminist Prophet we urgently need." 

So what if it’s true that Black women are mad as hell? They have the right to be. In the Black feminist tradition of Audre Lorde, Brittney Cooper reminds us that anger is a powerful source of energy that can give us the strength to keep on fighting.

Far too often, Black women’s anger has been caricatured into an ugly and destructive force that threatens the civility and social fabric of American democracy. But Cooper shows us that there is more to the story than that. Black women’s eloquent rage is what makes Serena Williams such a powerful tennis player. It’s what makes Beyoncé’s girl power anthems resonate so hard. It’s what makes Michelle Obama an icon. 

Eloquent rage keeps us all honest and accountable. It reminds women that they don’t have to settle for less. When Cooper learned of her grandmother's eloquent rage about love, sex, and marriage in an epic and hilarious front-porch confrontation, her life was changed. And it took another intervention, this time staged by one of her homegirls, to turn Brittney into the fierce feminist she is today. In Brittney Cooper’s world, neither mean girls nor fuckboys ever win. But homegirls emerge as heroes. This book argues that ultimately feminism, friendship, and faith in one's own superpowers are all we really need to turn things right side up again.

 

AN AFRICAN AMERICAN AND LATINX HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES
by Paul Ortiz

 

An intersectional history of the shared struggle for African American and Latinx civil rights

Spanning more than two hundred years, An African American and Latinx History of the United States is a revolutionary, politically charged narrative history arguing that the “Global South” was crucial to the development of America as we know it. Ortiz challenges the notion of westward progress, as exalted by widely taught formulations such as “manifest destiny” and “Jacksonian democracy,” and shows how placing African American, Latinx, and Indigenous voices unapologetically front and center transforms American history into the story of the working class organizing against imperialism.

In precise detail, Ortiz traces this untold history from the Jim Crow-esque racial segregation of the Southwest, the rise and violent fall of a powerful tradition of Mexican labor organizing in the twentieth century, to May 1, 2006, International Workers’ Day, when migrant laborers—Chicana/os, Afro-Cubanos, and immigrants from nearly every continent on earth—united in resistance on the first “Day Without Immigrants.”

Incisive and timely, An African American and Latinx History of the United States is a bottom-up history told from the viewpoint of African American and Latinx activists and revealing the radically different ways people of the diaspora addressed issues still plaguing the United States today.

 

Check out the HARI Bibliography to learn more about our collections and materials!