NASHVILLE, TN — The National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) is joining in the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop. The museum opens its yearlong exhibit, This is Hip Hop on Thursday, January 19th. NMAAM’S Features Gallery will exhibit iconic captures of Hip Hop’s origins and cultural impact through the lenses of four legendary artists. During the celebration, the museum will curate and spotlight the history and development of Hip Hop and the genre’s most iconic performers.

Over a half century ago, DJ Kool Herc birthed the style and culture we now call Hip Hop when he accidentally played the first breakbeat at a house party in the Bronx, NY. Since then, Hip Hop has influenced social justice movements, infinite genres of music, fashion, art, and culture, and topped music charts all over the world. The entire Hip Hop culture will be honored and celebrated internationally, throughout the year. Your favorite DJs, MCs, breakdancers, beatboxers, and other legendary artists will showcase at events such as concerts, tours, battles, tournaments, and exhibits to make this year’s golden anniversary of Hip Hop culture the most amazing one yet! 

NMAAM’s This is Hip Hop exhibit will showcase the work of four notable documentarians, representing the U.S’s four major regions ( Midwest, West, East, South. Hip Hop enthusiasts will experience some of the most memorable moments and iconic performances in Hip Hop history through each photographers’ unique experience. Visitors will witness the extraordinary photography of Chicago-native, Raymond Boyd (Midwest), whose in-depth interpretations were created especially for the This Is Hip Hop display, Traci Bartlow (West Coast), whose 90’s Bay Area Hip Hop photos were featured in Oakland Museums,  Andre Leroy Davis (East Coast), an artist renowned for his must-see illustrations that satirize and comment on current events and culture, and the South’s very own, Shannon McCullum, a self-taught photographer from Atlanta with more than 25 years of experience in the music industry. These documentarians have been featured in record labels, museums and national music and culture magazines like the Source.

NMAAM will kick off its yearlong celebration with a conversation with the first featured artist, Raymond Boyd at This is Hip Hop’s opening reception. It will be led by Nashville’s own radio personality and host of the Kenny Smoov Morning Show, Kenny Smoov of 92Q WQQK-FM. Boyd rose to prominence in the early 1980s for his black-and-white pictures of iconic Hip Hop performers visiting the Midwest. His photography has appeared in several publications and galleries all over the world. 

NMAAM is also launching a multi-level sponsorship package, giving industry brands the opportunity to present their logo in the galleries, host VIP meet and greets, and receive promotional advertising during any one of the four regions of the exhibit. You can learn more about the yearlong exhibit and celebration at