There was a time when study of any sort of popular culture, especially–gasp!–the music everyday people listen to–was not just frowned upon but ridiculed. Sure, you could study classical music, music theory and (much later) jazz and folk music. But rock? R&B? Pop? Hip hop? Worthless crap.
How far we’ve come.
Dr. Mark Campbell is a professor at Ryerson University in Toronto pulled together a team to create the Northside Hip Hop Archive, which is a series of exhibits designed to “re-engage students at all grade levels and preserve an integral piece of Canadian history.” From the press release:
Dr. Campbell currently teaches two inclusive courses on “Race & Racism in Popular Culture from Antiblackness to Intersectionality” and “Sonic Innovations in Black Musics: From Dubplates to Controllerism” at Ryerson RTA. “Uncovering hip hop histories in Canada are essential work if we are to imagine an inclusive, multicultural and diverse country. Without access to the successes, innovations and creativity of previous generations, we cannot provide in the classroom a solid context the next generation to strive towards excellence” says Dr. Campbell.
Since the archive launched in 2010, there have been multiple archival exhibits held to raise public awareness. On March 4th 2010, NSHH held its first exhibit, the T-Dot Pioneers Exhibition in Toronto. A year later, CBC and NSHH joined forces to launch “The Hip Hop Summit,” a week-long celebration of Canadian hip hop.
To learn more, go here.