Afrika Bambaataa Gets Vinyl Record Collection Archived for Cornell University Library

Afrika Bam

One of the most important vinyl record collections in the history of hip-hop will be on display to the public when archivists sort, organize and even play music from the crates of DJ Afrika Bambaataa – the godfather of hip-hop culture and an instrumental figure in the rise of electro funk. Gavin Brown’s enterprise and Johan Kugelberg/Boo-Hooray Gallery, together with Afrika Bambaataa, the Universal Zulu Nation and Cornell University Library are organizing the records for the Afrika Bambaataa Master of Records vinyl archive, which will permanently live at Cornell University’s Hip Hop Collection in fall 2013.

From July 11 through Aug. 10, Kugelberg and his team will be organizing, cataloguing and documenting Afrika Bambaataa’s peerless vinyl collection on business days between noon and 5 p.m. at Gavin Brown’s enterprise, 620 Greenwich Street, Manhattan. Visitors are encouraged to stop by, hear some great music and see how the cultural artifacts of this important strand of American history are preserved.

Please join the Afrika Bambaataa vinyl archive mailing list at and follow Gavin Brown’s enterprise on Facebook and Twitter for announcements of visiting DJs playing selections from the archive during the sort.  Originally from the South Bronx, Afrika Bambaataa is among the most influential American DJs. He is considered the godfather of hip-hop culture and was instrumental in the rise of electro funk and break-beat deejaying beginning in the 1980s.

His involvement with Bronx street gang the Black Spades in their transformation into community activists is legendary, as is his founding of the internationally known hip-hop organization Universal Zulu Nation. Bambaataa is responsible for spreading and popularizing hip-hop’s unmistakable sounds and beats alongside its culture throughout the world.

Due to his early use and mixing of drum machines and computer sounds, Bambaataa created signature beats (such as his first widely popular single “Planet Rock” of 1982), which helped fuel the development of other musical genres such as Freestyle or Latin Freestyle, Miami Bass, Electronica, House, Hip House and early Techno. He has consistently made records nationally and internationally, spanning the 1980s into the 2000s.

In 2012, Afrika Bambaataa was appointed to a three-year term as a visiting scholar at Cornell University, where his vinyl collection will reside as part of the Cornell University Library Hip Hop Collection, the largest collection on hip-hop culture in the world.

WHAT: Sorting, organizing and playing DJ Afrika Bambaataa’s record collection

WHEN: July 11 through Aug. 10, noon to 5 p.m. on business days

WHERE: Gavin Brown’s enterprise, 620 Greenwich Street, New York, NY

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