Hip-Hop Radio Archive
June 14, 2018 9:50 AM   Subscribe

Hip-Hop Radio Archive
The Hip-Hop Radio Archive aims to digitize, preserve, share, and contextualize recordings of hip-hop radio from the 1980s and 1990s from commercial, college, community, and pirate stations of all sizes, telling the stories of the shows and the people that made them.

The HHRA is an evolution of audio-based preservation projects I've worked on for the last decade. The goals are:

* Find and digitize recordings of radio shows from the 1980s and 90s, sourced from fans recording at home or DJs that recorded their shows at the station.

* Preserve the audio at the Internet Archive rather than relying on file-sharing services or streaming services that could disappear at a moment's notice.

* Share the episodes in an easy-to-use interface, allowing users to browse by date, location, station, show, and even DJs and hosts.

* Contextualize each episode by showing other shows that aired around the same time period as well as albums that were released during the surrounding weeks.

I launched the HHRA last fall and it's grown quickly thanks to the help of collectors and DJs as well as partnerships like one with the UMass Boston Hip-Hop Radio Collection of Lecco's Lemma shows. But there's still so much more to find and save and share.

I'm really proud of this project and am working hard to continually expand it to include more detail about the shows and DJs behind them as well as a wider variety of shows from around the world.

(As a side note, I also did an interview a couple of weeks ago with the Radio Survivor show, if you want to listen to me drone on for an hour about hip-hop radio.)
Role: Founder
posted by laze (4 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This project was posted to MetaFilter by cichlid ceilidh on June 17, 2018: Hip-Hop Radio Archive

This is so cool! Anything from the site you would especially like to highlight? It would be great to see a welcome blurb on the page advising some entry points to the collection.

Has collection been through word-of-mouth or have you been reaching out to stations directly?
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 7:12 PM on June 15 [1 favorite]


I'd start with Red Alert and Chuck Chillout for 80s stuff and Bobbito & Stretch for the 90s. The Dre, Premier, and Bambaataa stuff is gonna be good as far as guests go, of course.

Cool idea!
posted by rhizome at 1:45 PM on June 17 [2 favorites]


Thanks for posting to blue!

I've been working on a "where to start" document, but it's not done yet.

I've been reaching out to fans and collectors (folks that have been active on forums and music blogs over the last decade as well as people with tapes that never got around to digitizing them) as well as the DJs/hosts of the shows themselves. Not so much the stations, though I'd certainly be open to conversations with them, of course. Response has been good so far, but there's so, so much more out there.
posted by laze at 8:28 AM on June 18 [1 favorite]


Very cool! This reminded me of fond memories listening to KUBE 93's "Roll Call" late night call-in freestyle show in Seattle back in…probably late '90s / early 2000s, when I was just starting to get into hip-hop. Just googled it and barely anything to be found…which just reinforces the value of having a project like this to preserve this kind of media.

Also interested in seeing more of a guide to entry points, as I really don't even know where to start browsing the archives! I think some highlights of particular favorite shows (perhaps in a few different genres / categories) would be more helpful than the current "latest" and "random" links. Especially since a lot of the material is before my time so I know I don't fully appreciate the context.
posted by bts at 12:51 PM on July 7


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