While Afrika Bambaataa is a “Visiting Scholar” at Cornell University, New York, he has agreed to gift a significant amount of his personal collection to the university’s Hip Hop Collection. This isn’t about a university hiding things away though. Instead the archiving process will be open for all to see “offer[ing] visitors a unique opportunity to experience what is arguably the most important gathering of vinyl in the history of hip hop while it is sorted, organized, archived (and DJ'd) in full view of the public.”
Did you catch that last bit, “and DJed”? That’s why we’re excited by this plan. We love big record collections because they embody music but they’re no good unless they’re being listened to, preferably by as many people as possible. Bam, with the Universal Zulu Nation, is of course well recognised for trying to get music out there; to reaching people. We think this is a great way of doing that, particularly because there’s bound to be some great stuff in there.
It’s not clear who’ll be DJing this stuff, but we’d expect to see “the Godfather of Hip Hop” down there at some point.