Side Note

The Smithsonian’s archive of hip-hop photos is incredibly cool

Today, the National Museum of African American History and Culture announced that its exhibit of photographs from the Eyejammie Hip-Hop Photo Collection, which it acquired in 2015, is now on display. Represent: Hip-Hop Photography will be up through May 3, 2019, adding another draw to what is already a powerful, must-visit museum. But if you don’t see yourself travelling to Washington, D.C. anytime soon, you can do the next best thing and enjoy selections from the collection on the NMAAHC website.

Featuring works from famed photographers including Ricky Powell, Lisa Leone, and Janette Beckman, the collection portraits and candid shots of some of hip-hop’s most important figures. My absolute favorite right now is a 1991 photo of MC Lyte on the Lower East Side taken by Al Pereira. MC Lyte looks like I haven’t seen her before, at once a legendary hip-hop artist and a girl who looks like she could be one of my friends right now. Obviously, there’s no substitute for seeing the exhibit in person. But when you’re 2,500 miles away, the collection online will do.