Kendrick Lamar’s Grammy-winning 2015 album, “To Pimp a Butterfly,” will officially be archived in Harvard University’s library forevermore. Lamar's third studio album is one of four chosen by producer/Harvard scholar 9th Wonder for a hip-hop culture posterity project titled “These Are the Breaks” at the University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Research Institute. Lauryn Hill’s “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” A Tribe Called Quest’s “The Low End Theory” and Nas’ “Illmatic” will also be among the first to be archived.
According to an Instagram post from 9th Wonder (which has been since deleted), the Harvard University Fellow has curated “200 [albums] in no particular order.” Each selected piece of work will be placed in Harvard’s Loeb Music Library canon with liner notes and a vinyl production copy of the album. According to a release from the Hip Hop Archive,“Beginning in 2017, ten albums (minimum) will be archived into the collection each year.” These initial four are considered the 2016 inaugural collection.
Peruse the initial crates and all their liner note goodness online at HipHopArchive.org. Because you truly don't know "King Kunta" until you've experienced it through a scholar's eyes.