NOLA is a digital archive of New Orleans hiphop and bounce supported by the Amistad Research Center launching Spring 2014!
From Cash Money and No Limit to Lil Wayne, Birdman, Mystikal, Mannie Fresh,Juvenile, Big Freedia & Curren$y to the strong currents of underground hiphop and bounce music that sustain the tradition, New Orleans has been a central location for hiphop since the 1990s.
Today, rap music is arguably Louisiana’s most lucrative cultural export. But in the most widespread images of “New Orleans music,” the city’s rappers, producers and DJs that helped to build the tradition remain largely invisible. This, coupled with Hurricane Katrina, in which countless members of the city’s creative communities lost their lives or were displaced, many of whom remain unable to return, inspired a determination in many to help provide resources/further acknowledgment for artists and to add to the documentation/collection of hiphop and bounce oral histories.
The NOLA Hiphop Archive was founded by Holly Hobbs in 2012 to help address these issues. Thus far, the NOLA Hiphop Archive has conducted over 30 videotaped interviews with hiphop and bounce artists and pioneers in the city, including Mannie Fresh, Mystikal, Partners N Crime, Dee-1, Ricky B, DJ Raj Smoove, Nesby Phips, Nicky da B & Rusty Lazer, Queen Blackkold Madina (Academy Award-winning rapper & star of the documentary Trouble the Water) and more.
The Launch of the Digital Archive
These first 30 videotaped oral histories collected in 2012/2013 by the NOLA Hiphop Archive will be launched in conjunction with the Where They At bounce exhibit materials–which were exhibited in 2010 at the Smithsonian-affiliated Ogden Museum of Southern Art–in acommunity accessible digital archive beginning Spring 2014 at the Amistad Research Center at Tulane University. Once the digital archive is launched in Spring 2014, anyone will be able to access the interviews free of charge either in person at the Amistad Research Center on Tulane campus in New Orleans or online. Although the Amistad Research Center cannot provide financial assistance to us, with the help of Tulane University Amistad is able to offer the technological support involved in launching and maintaining this digital archive for years to come.