Standards of Culture: Hip Hop Entries to the Harvard Library
By Jaylin Paschal
Producer and curator of Harvard’s “These Are the Breaks” project, 9th Wonder, selected To Pimp A Butterfly to be among the first albums in what is expected to be a two hundred piece collection. Selected albums are considered to be "the standard of culture," and will therefore be added to Harvard University's library.
Beside TPAB will be three other legendary Hip Hop albums, all of which are personal favorites: Nas' Illmatic, Lauryn Hill's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and A Tribe Called Quest's The Low End Theory. All of these masterpieces will be archived with liner notes and the vinyl used in the original production.
It's not that these albums needed Harvard-recognition; Ivy League validation of Hip Hop culture sounds outrageous, anyway. These albums set a cultural standard with or without the nod from a predominantly white and historically racist institution. But damn, the nod still feels good. Hip Hop transcends all barriers, including prestige. And it will always.
Congratulations to the featured artists, and I'm looking forward to seeing which other albums are added to the library.