Cornell University's Hip Hop Collection

Contact: Gwen Glazer
Phone: (607) 254-8390

Join Cornell University Library's Celebration of Hip Hop

Pioneers of Hip Hop Bring New Collection to Life

ITHACA, N.Y. – Hundreds of hip hop pioneers, educators, scholars and performers from all over the country are making the pilgrimage to Ithaca, N.Y., to learn about the origins of hip hop and honor its pioneers. The two-day conference celebrates Cornell University Library’s acquisition of  “Born in the Bronx: The Legacy and Evolution of Hip Hop,” a collection that documents the early days of hip hop with recordings, photographs, posters and more.

The celebration opens at 3 p.m. on Oct. 31 with a lecture by noted hip hop historian Jeff Chang. Many of the originators of hip hop will lend their voices to the event, including Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Caz, Grandwizzard Theodore, Pebblee Poo, Popmaster Fabel, Roxanne Shanté, Tony Tone, Disco Wiz and Joe Conzo. They will share their knowledge and memories in a discussion with the audience at 4:30 p.m. At 8:30 p.m., pioneers and new artists, including DJ J.Rocc, will demonstrate old-school DJ, MC and b-boy/b-girl styles.

Beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 1, scholars, faculty and students will present conference sessions devoted to the consequences of archiving hip hop and the growth of hip hop studies. Discussions on Saturday will be led by Brown University professor Tricia Rose, who will talk about her upcoming book, “The Hip Hop Wars: What We Talk About When We Talk About Hip Hop and Why It Matters,” and Duke University associate professor Mark Anthony Neal, whose lecture is entitled, "Teach the Bourgeois and Rock the Boulevard: Hip-Hop and the Academy."

Cornell Cinema will screen one of the first movies to chronicle hip hop, Wild Style, a 1983 film starring Grandmaster Caz and other hip hop pioneers who will be attending the conference. On Thursday, Oct. 30, Director Charlie Ahearn will introduce Wild Style and present his 2005 film, Bongo Barbershop, which offers a return to the place where hip hop began.

Friday’s events will be held in Cornell University’s Bailey Hall, and Saturday’s academic sessions will be held in the Statler Auditorium. Tickets are free but required for all events, so register now at More information and a complete schedule can be found at

On their way back to New York City, the pioneers will make a final stop at Ithaca's Southside Community Center for a dedication ceremony of the Unity Studio from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The Unity Studio is a digital recording and music production lab, run as an after-school and summer program for youth.

About Cornell University Library
One of the leading academic research libraries in the United States, Cornell University Library is a highly valued partner in teaching, research and learning at Cornell University. The Library offers cutting-edge programs and a full spectrum of services, rare books and manuscripts and a growing network of digital resources. The Library’s outstanding collections – from medieval manuscripts to hip hop and from ancient Chinese texts to comic books – preserve the past and pave the way for future scholarship. To learn more about Cornell University Library, visit <>.

Hip Hop Collection & Celebration