Manchester Hip Hop Archive Exhibition opens at Manchester Central Library to celebrate the groundbreaking impact of the Hip Hop genre and how it revolutionised Manchester’s youth culture. Oh, and it’s free!

Get down to Manchester Central Library before September 18th to catch this groovy exhibit on Manchester’s ties to Hip Hop. Get nostalgic as the exhibit traces through the 1980s up to the present day with a showcase of clothing, posters, cassettes, flyers, and oral histories tracking the growth of the transformative youth movement.

Many, even Brits, may not be aware of how impactful Hip Hop was as a genre to Manchester specifically – despite its roots stemming from the US. Researcher and Hip Hop pioneer Zach Turner reveals that there are several factors to keep in mind. “One would be the way it was embraced by kids from inner-city areas who were of multicultural backgrounds. A bringing together of kids from diverse racial, cultural and economic backgrounds that shared the same housing estates and high rise blocks.There was also a shared experience with what young people in other cities such as New York were growing up with, so there is a natural understanding of new ways in communicating and exchanging ideas.

Furthermore Zach informs that actually, Hip Hop can trace its roots back to the early Break Dance, and Electro Funk scenes were pioneered by certain DJs in Manchester clubs, as well as on the radio by the likes of Mike Shaft, Colin Curtis and Greg Wilson during the early ’80s. “The Broken Glass Street Crew were to release one of the earliest UK Hip Hop records, ‘Style of the Street’ on Street Wave records in 1984. Manchester was at the centre of those early years of Hip Hop culture along with the West Midlands, Bristol and London. InterCity travel was also a new option for young people.”

Furthermore, Hip Hop and the Acid House/Madchester scene were also intrinsically linked – Hip Hop was a large part of what made the Hacienda great and artists such as 808 State, MC Tunes, A Guy Called Gerald, Ruthless Rap Assassins and KISS AMC are all a good example of that.

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