2013: THE GREAT AFRIKA BAMBAATAA RECORD SORT

Open archiving of one-of-a-kind cultural artifacts, working mutually with others to preserve important strands of American history, is not an experience in which the average member of the public often gets to participate. Last year, during the summer of 2013, Johan Kugelberg and Gavin Brown’s Enterprise provided members of the public wishing to volunteer with the opportunity to help sort the most important collection of vinyl in the history of hip-hop.

With the assistance of many volunteers, Boo-Hooray organized, catalogued, and documented Afrika Bambaataa’s collection of 42,000 vinyl records at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise prior to its being delivered to its permanent home at Cornell University’s Hip Hop Collection in Fall 2013. On different days throughout the sort, legendary DJs such as Red Alert, Jazzy Jay, Rich Medina, and Muro spun Bambaataa’s records.

This Thursday, June 26, Born In The Bronx: Afrika Bambaataa, Buddy Esquire, Charlie Ahearn’s Wild Style and Joe Conzo/A Visual Record of the Early Days of Hip Hop, curated by Johan Kugelberg will open at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise. The materials in this exhibition highlight the personal narratives and archives of Afrika Bambaataa, the late master of hip hop design Buddy Esquire, Wild Style director Charlie Ahearn, and Joe Conzo, the photographer who the New York Times said “took hip hop’s baby pictures.” We can assure you you’ll see things you haven’t seen before!