The Universal Hip Hop Museum in the Bronx celebrates and preserves the history of local and global Hip Hop music and culture to inspire, empower, and promote understanding. Anchored in the birthplace of the culture, the Universal Hip Hop Museum in the Bronx will provide a space for audiences, artists, and technology to converge, creating unparalleled educational and entertainment experiences around the Hip Hop culture of the past, present, and future. Find out more about how Puerto Ricans were a part of the creation and development of what we know as the genre of Hip Hop and Rap.
"Though hip hop is sometimes portrayed as having grown strictly out of African American culture, in reality, it was the product of black interaction with a variety of ethnic groups, including large numbers of Latinos, particularly Puerto Ricans" (Harkness, 2008).
A self-described hip-hop activist committed to nourishing a socially responsible, historically grounded, holistic hip-hop creativity, Q deeply resents being segregated, as a Puerto Rican, from a hip-hop cultural core that is assumed to be African American (Rivera, 2001).
Click on the picture above to view a short history lesson
I made up the story on the spot for my first-graders who I had been teaching bomba music through the rhythm called sicá. I told them: Let’s pretend there was a woman called Mama Africa who was a very good mother who had many kids. She had a big treasure that she wanted to pass on to her children. But there was a very bad man by the name of Mister E. who found out about the treasure and wanted to steal it. So Mama Africa hid the treasure so well that Mister E. wasn’t able to find it. In the end, her kids were able to get her treasure. Then I asked my students: “Do you know what the treasure is? It starts with an ‘s.’ “Candy!” was the first thing one of them said. “It starts with ‘sssssss,’” I reminded them. “Toys!” another said. Finally, one of them remembered the rhythm that we had been learning in class: “Sicá!” (Rivera, 2012).
Academic researcher, Dr. Raquel Z. Rivera, offers a careful and thorough exploration into musical history. Perhaps more importantly, just as Tricia Rose examined American blackness via hip-hop in her landmark "Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America", in like manner, Rivera's monograph credibly and creditably explores the nature of Puerto Ricanness and Latinidad itself as part of the creation of hip-hop (Piekarski, p. 90, 2003).
The Raquel Z. Rivera Hip Hop/ Reggaetón Collection below helps document Puerto Rican contributions to the creation and development of hip hop and reggaetón both in the United States and Puerto Rico.