Overview | Schedule | Register | Visitor Information | Conference Sponsors

Cornell University Hosts Hip Hop Conference and Celebration

Celebrating Hip Hop History
October 31 - November 1, 2008

Afrika Bambaataa and other pioneers of hip hop will travel to Ithaca, N.Y., to speak at a two-day conference celebrating Cornell University Library’s acquisition of “Born in the Bronx: The Legacy and Evolution of Hip Hop,” a collection that documents the early days of hip hop with recordings, photographs, posters and more.

Events on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 will include music, performances and lectures by several of hip hop’s founders, and roundtable discussions led by prominent speakers from the hip hop and academic communities. Cornell University Library will host the event, which will highlight the one-of-a-kind historical materials.

“By paying tribute to those who laid the foundation, we tell our own history,” Bambaataa said. “Preserving hip hop’s early years will help future generations understand the places they come from.”

Bambaataa will address the symposium on Friday, Oct. 31 as part of a roundtable discussion featuring other hip hop pioneers such as Grandmaster Caz, Grandwizzard Theodore, Popmaster Fabel, Tony Tone, Disco Wiz and Kool Lady Blue. Select artists will also perform in Alice Statler Hall that evening.

Noted hip hop historians will speak at the event, including authors Tricia Rose, Professor of Africana Studies at Brown University, Jeff Chang, and Mark Anthony Neal, associate professor of black popular culture at Duke University. Hip hop photographer Joe Conzo will present his historic images of the Bronx during the conference. The event is free and open to the public.

A complete list of participants is available here.

The conference marks the official opening of Cornell University Library’s hip hop collection, which includes nearly one thousand sound recordings, the photographic archive of Bronx photographer Joe Conzo, Jr., textile art, books and magazines, and a collection of more than five hundred original party and club fliers designed by Buddy Esquire and others.

Submit a Question to the Pioneers

On Friday October 31 from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m., pioneers of hip hop culture will talk about their memories and experiences in Bailey Hall (see schedule for details). 

Registered participants at the conference have the opportunity to submit questions to the pioneers in advance.  The moderator will take as many questions as time allows.