Hip-Hop Makes History in the Library of Congress

Submitted by notoriousclassics on Wed, 04/13/2022 - 15:55
L-R: A Tribe Called Quest, Wu-Tang Clan

Every year, the Library of Congress selects 25 sound recordings, deemed culturally and historically significant, to add into its National Recording Registry. For the first time, multiple hip-hop works have been selected in one year.

READ MORE: In 2019, Wu-Tang Clan (Literally) Controlled the Streets

A Tribe Called Quest's 1991 masterpiece The Low End Theory and Wu-Tang Clan's debut Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) (1993) will join the Registry for cultural preservation. “We are honored to have our work added to the prestigious National Recording Registry amongst so many other astounding works,” Tribe member Q-Tip said in a statement. “We are humbled and grateful for this acknowledgement. Thank you so, so much.”

READ MORE: September 1991: A Tribe Called Quest Release "Low End Theory"

Another notable selection from the era: Alicia Keys' powerhouse debut Songs in A Minor, released in 2001. The album spun off the chart-topping "Fallin'" and won the singer/songwriter five Grammy Awards, including Song of the Year, Best New Artist and Best R&B Album.

This year's selections span nearly a century of moments, from jazz pianist James P. Johnson's 1921 composition "Harlem Strut" to a 2010 episode of the podcast WTF with Marc Maron featuring the late comedy legend Robin Williams. Other notable selections this year include the Four Tops' "Reach Out I'll Be There," the unyielding Disneyland anthem "It's a Small World," Queen's classic rock smash "Bohemian Rhapsody," Ricky Martin's Latin-pop hit "Livin' La Vida Loca," and news coverage of both Hank Aaron's record-setting 715th career home run and the terrorist attack of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.