At a recent auction at Tarisio in New York, a Guarneri violin known as the Baltic sold for $9.44 million. Including the premium, just short of its $10 million estimated value. This sale price broke the previous auction record for a Guarneri instrument, set at $3.6 million in June 2022, and is now the third-highest price ever paid for a musical instrument. Tarisio’s online auction featured over 100 rare stringed instruments and bows and brought in over $11.1 million, with 18 new auction records set for various music-related items.

Hip-hop music and culture have had a profound impact on modern society. As the genre has evolved, it has left an indelible mark on the music industry, fashion, and politics. 

However, as technology continues to grow, many of the artifacts necessary to the history of hip-hop need to be recovered. Fans holding on to physical items like CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs that preserve hip-hop memorabilia in an age of streaming is crucial.

Rewriting History

In the digital age, it’s easy for people to rewrite history. In the early days of hip-hop, fans captured important recordings and performances on physical media. However, as these items become rarer, it becomes easier for people to alter the narrative of hip-hop history. By holding on to physical CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs, you’re preserving a piece of history that can’t be altered or erased.

Just recently, there has been an increase in black history being removed.

“At last count, 44 states have started debating whether to introduce bills that would limit what schools can teach about race, American history, gender identity and sexual orientation. Critical Race Theory (CRT) is the thing that intimidates them so.” (Lee Anna Jackson, 2023, para 1).

With the increase in black history, black musicians, and legacy being erased, the time has come to preserve history.

Changing History

Physical hip-hop memorabilia also serves as a reminder of how the genre has changed. As hip-hop has evolved, so has the style of music, fashion, and even the politics surrounding the genre. We can see how hip-hop has become by holding on to physical artifacts.

Benefits of Physical Items

There are also practical benefits to holding on to physical items. For example, if you’re a DJ or a music collector, you can use physical CDs to mix and create unique playlists you can’t find on streaming services. 

Physical media also has a higher sound quality than digital streams, meaning you can hear nuances in the music you wouldn’t otherwise hear.

In conclusion, holding on to physical hip-hop memorabilia is crucial in preserving the genre’s history. 

Steps To  Preserve Black Music

Preserve Black music through physical saving by taking the following steps:

  • Identify important pieces from Black artists and communities you want to preserve, such as albums, live recordings, or sheet music.
  • Invest in physical media like vinyl records, CDs, cassette tapes, or reel-to-reel tapes and store them properly to protect them from damage.
  • Digitize the music using a high-quality audio interface and a digital audio workstation to create a digital format that can be easily accessed and shared.
  • Create metadata for each piece of music, including artist name, album title, year of release, and track listings, to keep the music organized.
  • Back up the digital files to multiple locations, such as external hard drives, cloud storage, or physical copies stored in different areas, to ensure the music is safe.
  • Share the music with others by donating physical copies to libraries or archives, transferring digital files to fellow music enthusiasts, or using the music to educate younger generations about the rich history of Black music.

Preserving Black music for future generations ensures that the significant contributions of Black artists to music history are not lost. Invest time in physical savings to protect the music that has shaped and inspired cultures worldwide.

Not only does it prevent people from rewriting history, it also serves as a reminder of how hip-hop has changed over time. Additionally, physical media has practical benefits that streaming services can’t replicate. By holding on to physical CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs, you’re preserving a piece of history enjoyed for generations.


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