Afrika Bambaataa, Cornell University
Afrika Bambaataa’s Record Collection Will Be Archived At Cornell University

According to the Cornell Chronicle, The Cornell University Library Hip Hop Collection will catalog the archive of Afrika Bambaataa. A $260,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, will help support The Cornell Hip Hop Collection, part of the library’s Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, to make these materials widely accessible to researchers, students and the public. Afrika Bambaataa’s archive is said to include 450 containers with approximately 40,000 vinyl records, many of them annotated by Bambaataa and numbered in the order he acquired them.

Previously, Bambaataa served as a visiting professor on Cornell University’s campus in Ithaca, NY. For three years, the professorship, for several days each year met with classes, talked to student and community groups, and included performances. He became the first faculty appointment for a hip hop pioneer and legend at a major university.

Afrika Bambaataa grew up in the Bronx River Projects, with a family of activism, as both his mother and uncle were heavily involved.  The late 1970’s saw the birth of the Zulu Nation, a collective of social and politically active hip hop artists, b-boys, graffiti artists and people involved in the hip hop community. Bambaataa worked very closely, with DJ Kool Herc, who his credited with throwing the infamous party at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, the birthplace of hip hop.