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Legendary hip-hop artists are joining forces to create an extensive anthology that will serve as a retrospective of the genre, NBC News reported.

Chuck D, MC Lyte, Questlove and other music artists are collaborating with the Smithsonian to launch a Kickstarter for the project, the news outlet said. The anthology will capture the essence of hip-hop history and highlight how its culture has left an indelible mark on the world. It will feature CDs, a 300-page book, thought pieces penned by artists, and rare photos that have been featured in exhibitions at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The project will delve into hip-hop’s early beginnings in the 70s and how it transformed into a form of expression for many people during troubling social and political times in America. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings is organizing the anthology and curators Dwandalyn Reece and Huib Schippers are spearheading the project, the source reported. They set a goal of accumulating at least $250,000 through the crowdfunding campaign.

“[The campaign] is one of the most important projects on contemporary history that the Smithsonian will ever undertake,” said museum director Lonnie G. Bunch III, according to the source. “Hip-hop helps us to understand the power of black music and the impact of African American culture on the world,” he added.

Rapstress MC Lyte told NBC News that with all of the changes in the hip-hop industry the project will “help us stay in tune with the truth and with the history of hip-hop.” The anthology is being supported by Lyte, other music artists, and scholars.

The Kickstarter campaign—which has surpassed its $250,000 goal—will end on November 15.



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