Photos of Queen Latifah, LL Cool J, Nas and Others will be Featured at New Smithsonian Museum
Johnny Nunez/WireImage

Not only will The National Museum of African American History and Culture feature reference to the entertainment contributions of actor and comedian Bill Cosby, but the walls of the new Smithsonian will be blessed with vintage portraits of some of the greatest hip-hop artists of all time.

Photographs of Queen Latifah, Nas, LL Cool J, Jay Z, KRS-One, Run D.M.C. and others collected by famed hip-hop journalist Bill Adler will be on display throughout the museum as an homage to the contributions of music culture. 

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Over the course of his career, Adler has amassed a collection including more than 400 photographs of some of the greatest moments in music. He says his collection, which was on display in New York City at the Eyejammie Fine Arts Gallery in 2007, is an extention of his appreciation for the artists and their art. “Photography to me is really a magical medium,” he tells the Smithsonian Museum . “It’s just stunning.”

Rhea Combs, a photo curator, said that the museum would be incomplete without recognizing how hip-hop as added to the conversations about the African-American community.

“At present I think when you think about the museum and you think about the mission of the museum, it is one that wants to provide a sweep of African-American history and culture. We would be remiss in not making sure that we included a conversation around something that is so relevant to African-American life and to American life and culture, in fact.”

Photos of Grandmaster Flash, J. Dilla, Jean Michel Basquiat, Russell Simmons, DJ Spinderella, Flavor Flav and others will be seen when the museum opens in September.


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