From the Harvard Gazette:
Like Shakespeare, Kendrick Lamar touches on the political and the personal, is a master of complex rhyme, and a pop-culture player in his time. Musically, his allusions, his samplings, are ironic, layer meaning, and recall jazz and modern poetry.
In the words of Biggie: “If you don’t know, now you know.”
Studying and preserving the work of Lamar and other hip-hop giants has been the focus of the Hiphop Archive and Research Institute, based at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, since its founding in 2002. The organization’s mission is to document the genre’s mushrooming influence on culture and society.
The archive occupies a sleek space decorated with graffiti-lettering, boom boxes, sneakers, a lit mini disco floor, and a turntable. Displays honor influential figures, like the late Tupac Shakur, Jay-Z, Queen Latifah, and Lauryn Hill — amid a constant soundtrack of background beats and raps.
The institute also maintains Classic Crates, an archived collection of 200 of hip-hop’s most seminal albums stored in the Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library, the University’s primary archive of music and music materials from around the world.
See Also: Hiphop Archive Videos