In episode 04 of Brooklyn Historical Society’s podcast Flatbush + Main, co-hosts Zaheer Ali and Julie Golia examine the history and evolution of hip hop in Brooklyn. Joined by Wes Jackson, founder and Executive Director of the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival, we consider how Brooklyn shaped the trajectory of this powerful cultural genre – and how hip hop, in turn, shaped Brooklyn and Brooklynites. We chat with media producer, archivist, and educator Martha Diaz about what it means to document and archive such a multilayered and global movement as hip hop. Finally, in the “Voices of Brooklyn” segment, we listen to author, filmmaker, and cultural critic Nelson George describe how hip hop communities operated on the ground in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Fort Greene.
We also got to attend the 12th Annual Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival and speak to some fans about what Brooklyn hip hop means to them. You’ll hear their reflections, thoughts, and experiences throughout the episode.
Segment 1: Histories and Ideas
Want to read more about hip hop’s history? Take a look at Tricia Rose’s Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America and Jeff Chang’s Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip Hop Generation.
Segment 2: Into the Archives
The Universal Hip Hop Museum has a great YouTube channel. Here’s a short video introduction to the museum:
Segment 3: Voices of Brooklyn
Below is the full interview with Nelson George. This interview is being made available online, thanks to a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) of the National Archives and Records Administration.
Segment 4: Endorsements
Our colleague Marcia Ely, Vice President for Programs and External Affairs at BHS, joins us to discuss “Truman Capote’s Brooklyn: The Lost Photographs of David Attie,” an exhibition that she organized here at BHS. The exhibition got a great write up in the New York Times last week.
Julie endorses the BHS event “Crown Heights Encounters: Listening Back, Moving Forward.” On August 10, 2016, at 6:30pm, Errol Louis will host this three-part event honoring the past and future of the neighborhood of Crown Heights. Get tickets here.
Both of these events are FREE.