Today, The Smithsonian unveiled a new a Kickstarter page seeking $250,000 to help fund the nine-disc Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap. This anthology will be produced in collaboration with Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and the National Museum of African American History and Culture, plus an executive committee of hip-hop experts ranging from artists and producers, such as rappers Chuck D and MC Lyte, drummer Questlove of The Roots, and producer 9th Wonder, to industry veterans, music critics, authors, and scholars.Marking the third major anthology by the Grammy Award-winning Smithsonian Folkways Recording (which has previously created anthologies of American folk music and jazz), The Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap will contain over 120 tracks released over the past four decades that showcase hip-hop as a musical, cultural, and social force in the United States and around the world. Though the track listing is not solidified, one can expect to see iconic numbers from old-school pioneers like the Sugarhill Gang as well as tracks from prominent artists of today like Kanye West and Nicki Minaj. This project is also notable, as it will be the first collection to include tracks from all of hip-hop’s major labels in addition to a number of independent record labels.The Smithsonian’s hip-hop anthology, in addition to being a non-starter for any hip-hop lover, also doubly serves as an educational tool. Across its 120 tracks, the collection will highlight “different social and political trends within the genre, such as police brutality, feminism, and Afrocentrism” in the genre, plus “provide a unique window into the many ways hip-hop has created new traditions and furthered musical and cultural traditions of the African diaspora.” The audio anthology is also accompanied by a 300-page book featuring critical essays, track-by-track notes, and never-before-published photographs fromNational Museum of African American History archives.As Lonnie G. Bunch III, founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, noted in a statement, “The Kickstarter campaign to produce a hip-hop and rap anthology is one of the most important projects on contemporary history that the Smithsonian will ever undertake, because it shows that the Smithsonian’s work is as much about today and tomorrow as it is about yesterday.”He continues, “Hip-hop is a musical revolution that embodies the voice of an entire generation, and that’s why it’s important for the museum to partner with the hip-hop community and Folkways Recordings to tell this story. Hip-hop helps us to understand the power of black music and the impact of African American culture on the world.”While The Smithsonian is hopeful that it will reach its quarter-million-dollar goal for the project, the project’s organizers have also stressed that they will try to bring the project to life, even if it does not meet its funding benchmark. To incentivize fans to donate, for a pledge of $100 dollars, supporters can earn a copy of the compilation, which is scheduled to be released in December of 2018, plus an exclusive “9th Wonder Digital Remix based on Smithsonian Folkways’ catalogue.” For the maximum donation of $10,000 or more, avid supporters can earn a private tour led by Questlove of the museum.Donate to the Kickstarter for the Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap here.