This fall the Smithsonian opens the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) and what better way to kick off this opening then with a hip-hop photography exhibit.  The institution has partnered with photo historian and former director of publicity at Def Jam Recordings, Bill Alder, to present over 400 photos spanning 20 years of hip-hop history. This exhibit includes the likes of Jay Z, DJ Spinderella (Salt-N-Pepa), Queen Latifa, Nas and many of the great artists that inspired our youth.

Naturally the museum will include exhibits covering more areas of African American culture but according to the Smithsonian Mag “Hip-Hop, an initially counter-cultural artistic movement that now finds acceptance—if not adoption and appropriation—in the mainstream cultural consciousness, is a cornerstone of contemporary African-American culture.” It’s truly a unique instance to see the progression of hip-hop and the various players that have come and gone over two decades of the genre.

Have a look at some photos from the exhibit below and make the pilgrimage to the National Museum of African American History and Culture if you can. 

Pictures from various photographers from Smithsonian Mag