"This is history, Cornell!" Those words started a panel discussion among an impressive array of hip hop's founders: Roxanne Shante, Popmaster Fabel, Disco Wiz, Pebblee Poo, Tony Tone, Grandwizzard Theodore, Grandmaster Caz and Afrika Bambaataa. They gathered at Cornell's Bailey Hall on Oct. 31, 2008, to talk about their music, defining moments in their lives and the future of hip hop, as well as answer questions from the audience.
The panel was moderated by Jeff Chang, hip hop historian and award-winning author of "Can't Stop Won't Stop: a History of the Hip-Hop Generation" and editor of the anthology "Total Chaos: The Art & Aesthetics of Hip-Hop," and Johan Kugelberg, collector and author of "Born in the Bronx: A Visual Record of the Early Days of Hip Hop." Bronx photographer Joe Conzo, Jr. also showed projected images of his historic photographs of hip hop in the 1970s and 1980s.
The panel was part of a two-day conference celebrating Cornell University Library's acquisition of "Born in the Bronx: The Legacy and Evolution of Hip Hop," a collection that documents the early days of hip hop with recordings, photographs, posters and more. Events on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, 2008, included music, performances and lectures by several of hip hop's founders, and roundtable discussions led by prominent speakers from the hip hop and academic communities.