Lin-Manuel Miranda steps up for Smithsonian's twitter rap battle

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US Department of the Treasury

US Department of the Treasury

The Smithsonian in Washington DC has launched a Kickstarter campaign to create the Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap—and it is finding ingenious ways to raise awareness (and funds). The National Museum of African American History and Culture, part of the Smithsonian, is teaming up with the record label, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, to create the anthology which will include more than 120 tracks on nine CDs and a 300-page book with ten essays. The project, due to be published December next year, is being developed by a committee of hip-hop specialists such as the artist Chuck D. In a bid to drum up support, the Smithsonian hosted its first ever cypher (rap freestyle) yesterday on Twitter (3 November). The creator of Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda, got in on the action, tweeting: “Artifacts on wax; platinum plaques on tracks; Hamiltonian @Smithsonian got facts on facts #Smithsoniancypher.” The Smithsonian were very happy indeed, tweeting back: “Your tweeting to us, sir, is really a pleasure. Because you’re an inimitable national treasure.” Let’s hope the hip-hop hype all pays off—the Kickstarter campaign currently stands at $198,935 (4 November); the $250,000 target must be reached by 16 November.

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