EditorialFor the love of music


For when you’re feeling social


Tony Young

February 25, 2016

As we wrap up Black History Month I think it’s only fitting to feature an amazing photo exhibit acquired by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Obtained from Bill Adler, the writer and former music industry publicist. Adler captures some of Hip Hops foundation in his Black and White pictorial. It features the early roots of the culture before huge stadiums, downloading, and social media. You see the true Realness of artists such as Run Dmc, Queen Latifah, Big Daddy Kane, Salt N Pepa, Krs One, even Mr World Wide Pitbull is snapped in his youthful rap days.

The pictorial spans from the 80’s to the early 2000’s…“The culture has morphed and changed as things do over time, but these pictures speak to the grass roots nature of it,” said Rhea L. Combs, the museum’s curator of film and photography. “That is the special quality of this collection. It touches on all of those important moments that are kind of nostalgic: You had jams, you had concerts, you had street ciphers. It included not just the M.C., but the D.J., the dancers and graffiti artists. This collection epitomized a nice constellation of these important moments of a very real and American moment in history.”

Working for Russel Simmons as the Director of Publicity, Adler had an inside connection to start documenting Hip Hop’s legacy…“I also had my historian’s hat on,” Mr. Adler said. “I would keep a copy of everything we produced. I had been doing some of that before, but I started doing it intensely while working for Russell.”

Hip Hop’s Golden Era Slide Show