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Best In The Bay: Bay Area Hip Hop Archives Announces 2024 Inductees

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The Bay Area Hip Hop Archives has announced its 2024 Class of Inductees. Described as a “cultural repository for Bay Area Hip Hop artists, activists and educators who’ve made a 20 year or more significant contribution to the community and world via Hip Hop culture,” the Oakland-based organization takes great care when selecting each inductee.

“We have The Council, who are a group of OGs from the Bay Area artist community that helps guide the decisions of inductees,” Jahi, curator/founder of the Bay Area Archives, tells AllHipHop. “Also, I do make personal choices of under-seen, under-valued and under-appreciated folks in our culture and community, who deserve to be preserved.”

This year’s class includes:

Danyel Smith – an Oakland native, award-winning journalist and host of Black Girl Songbook, who is one of the most prolific music writers of our time.

Gentleman of Production – a legendary dance group from Oakland.

KPOO 89.5 FM – a Black owned, community radio station in San Francisco.

Ant Banks– an Oakland Hip Hop pioneer, rapper and legendary producer.

Silk-E– a generational talent as a rapper, singer, and live performer.

Rocky Rivera– a veteran rapper, journalist and author from San Francisco.

Malik Seneferu– an award-winning, self taught painter, muralist, and illustrator.

Karen Seneferu– an illustrious visual artist, educator and revolutionary artist.

Black (DJ)- an esteemed DJ/producer representing the LGBTQ+ community. Sean Kennedy- an accomplished videographer, and creative marketing icon.

T-Kash– a politically conscious rapper, radio host, and community activist.

DJ Edaboss – a multifaceted artist, DJ, and music producer.

Greg Bridges – an honored radio host, photographer and podcast producer.

Rickey Vincent– a legendary author, Funk historian, and radio host.

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Jahi easily points out what they all have in common, saying, “They all have over 20 years or more of receipts of active participation of Hip-Hop culture in their own ways from murals, to writings, to songs, to providing platforms for voices to speak truth to power. They all have deep roots in the Bay Area. And, they all have incredible artifacts to go with their rich, historical narratives.”

Over the next three to five years, each inductee will build their own “Special Collection” of interviews, artifacts and other ephemera as a preservation plan for future generations, creating a place for people to appreciate the contributions from Bay Area creatives.

“It’s one of many ways to ensure that 50 years from now we are not erased,” Jahi says. “Our contributions to the culture will have a chance to inspire future generations and when you want to learn about the contributions of these culture keepers, you get to hear it from them as a primary source, which I think is vital. If you think about ancient times when people excavated old cities looking for life, it’s normally the cultural production of the people that gives clues on what the city was like. This is the work.”

On a persona level, Jahi believes the Bay Area Hip Hop Archives is integral to preserving Hip-Hop culture—and not necessarily just in the Bay Area.

“It’s important to me to activate and continue the Bay Area Hip Hop Archives, even in inches and increments because it’s about legacy,” he says.” It matters to me that these culture keepers are preserved, and that we didn’t have to wait for anyone’s permission or funding to start. It’s important to me because the way culture moves forward is by preserving it. It’s important to me because 50 years from now I want to know that my contribution to the culture and community can be seen to inspire the next eight generations forward.”

Find more information here.

Author: Kyle Eustice

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