HARI In-House Blog

Submitted by batkins on

Two years ago, on February 29, 2016, The Hiphop Archive and Research Institute (HARI), in partnership with Harvard University’s Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library, announced the Classic Crates archival project. The mission of Classic Crates is to collect, preserve, and make accessible the rich heritage of Hiphop as an American art form.

Under the leadership of HARI Founding Director Dr. Marcyliena Morgan and 2012-2013 Hiphop Archive Fellow DJ/producer Patrick Douthit (a.k.a. 9th Wonder), HARI has identified 200 classic hiphop vinyl records that will be inducted into the Loeb Music Library as a resource for academic and creative scholarship. Peter Laurence, World Music Specialist and Senior Curatorial Assistant at the Loeb Music Library, is the primary liaison between the Archive and the university’s library system. 

This unique collaboration brings together a collection of hiphop “standards,” along with vinyl versions of earlier musical recordings that were sampled on each inducted classic hiphop album. These recordings are considered to be classic representations of repertoires of hiphop widely recognized, referenced, and sampled by musicians and listeners. As primary sources for the study of hiphop, the vinyl recordings, along with sampled recordings and other related content, will be housed and made available for listening, viewing, and researching at the Loeb Music Library.

Classic Crates has an active acquisitions policy stressing awareness of materials related to the musical development of Hiphop and the social, political, educational and artistic movements that has resulted from the genre. Albums are chosen using multiple criteria including artistic, social and historical significance.  The collection considers Hiphop to be an American art form that has been embraced by the world.

We make accessible the materials in the HARI archives through online activities and research and improved bibliographical and organizational control, including a comprehensive program of cataloging and database entry, and other processing activities. HARI shares its unique holdings and expertise through emergent technologies and innovative programming. Each Classic Album has a Digital Archive accessible on the HARI site and includes a range of digital materials related to the year of the Classic Album release and about the Classic Artist. We link the references, times and periods of albums and sampled music and lyrical references to historical, political, social, artistic, scientific and educational programs and technologies. Classic Crates reminds us music and samples are shout-outs to the arts, sciences, history, politics, and dreams of a people and nation. We will persist in the soundscape – to be dug in return.

The 2016 Inaugural Classic Crates Collection includes...

Illmatic by Nas
Low End Theory by A Tribe Called Quest
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill by Lauryn Hill
To Pimp A Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar


The next set of Classic Crates Inductees are...

To learn more about the project, please visit HARI's Classic Crates site HERE.