Rap legend Afrika Bambaataa can now add the title “visiting scholoar” to his resume with reports claiming he has received the honor courtesy of Cornell University.
According to the university’s website, Bambaataa can hold the position up to three years.
Cornell University Library’s Hip Hop Collection is honored to announce the appointment of DJ Afrika Bambaataa as a visiting scholar for a three-year term. Bambaataa will visit Cornell’s campus in Ithaca, NY for several days each year to meet with classes, talk to student and community groups, and perform. This is the first faculty appointment for a hip hop pioneer and legend at a major university. (Cornell News & Events)
The popular school also prides itself in containing archived information on hip-hop society.
Cornell University Library is the home of the largest national archive on hip hop culture, documenting its birth and growth by preserving thousands of recordings, flyers, photographs, and other artifacts. (Cornell News & Events)
Back in 2008, Bambaataa took part in a Cornell University hip-hop celebration event.
The free two-day conference will showcase documents from the early days of hip-hop including recordings, photographs, posters and more. Famous for being one of the first hip-hop deejays to help mold the art form in the South Bronx during the 70’s, Bambaataa will also be speaking on the culture’s importance. “By paying tribute to those who laid the foundation, we tell our own history,” he said in a statement. “Preserving hip-hop’s early years will help future generations understand the places they come from.” (SOHH)
The rap pioneer is most known for his contributions to the culture over four decades ago.
A seminal Bronx DJ during the 1970s, Afrika Bambaataa ascended to godfather status with Planet Rock, the 1982 hip-hop classic which blended the beats of hip-hop with techno-pop futurism inspired by German pioneers Kraftwerk. Even before he began recording in 1980, Bambaataa was hip-hop’s foremost DJ, an organizer and promoter of the large block parties during the mid- to late ’70s which presaged the rise of rap. After the success of Planet Rock, he recorded electro-oriented rap only sparingly, concentrating instead on fusion — exemplified by his singles with ex-Sex Pistol John Lydon and fellow godfather James Brown. Bambaataa had moved to the background by the late ’80s (as far as hip-hop was concerned), but the rise of his Zulu Nation collective — including De La Soul, Queen Latifah, A Tribe Called Quest, and the Jungle Brothers — found him once more being tipped as one of rap’s founding fathers. (All Music)