Afrika Bambaataa Archive

Investigator: Katherine Reagan, Rare and Manuscript Collections

Preservation Fund, 2015

Often called the “Godfather” of Hip Hop, Bambaataa has defined and exemplified Hip Hop since it emerged in the South Bronx, New York City, in the 1970s. One of a handful of Hip Hop’s originators, Bambaataa gave Hip Hop its name, and was the first to define its core artistic elements—DJing, rapping, breakdancing, and graffiti art—under one cultural umbrella. In 2007 he was nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The at-risk audio and video materials in his archive document his performances, speaking engagements and appearances, meetings and anniversary events associated with the Universal Zulu nation, and political marches and speeches in New York City and Washington DC. Selection includes 30 acetate recordings, 50 video tapes and 100 audiotapes.