National Museum Of African-American Music Curates A Hip-Hop Experience From West Coast Photographer Traci Bartlow

The National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) features the iconic west coast hip-hop photographer Traci Bartlow in a media preview on April 6th. Traci rose to prominence in the early 1990s for her work as a writer for notable hip-hop magazines like Rap Pages and the east coast-based magazine, The Source. Hip-Hop 50 is celebrated from the Gram to the Grammy’s all 2023 with iconic performances and exhibits worldwide. NMAAM continues celebrating 50 years of Hip-Hop by opening part two of its This Is Hip-Hop exhibit, Oakland Picture Lady: Tales of a 90’s Girl, in 2022. More than 150,000 people have visited the museum since its opening in 2020, and in 2023, attendance is expected to grow due to the excitement around this popular exhibition. Learn more at

“Hip-Hop has influenced everything, from fashion, the movies we watch, car culture, public policy, and even public health,” said President of NMAAM, H Beecher Hicks III.

Traci‘s photography was birthed from an East Oakland laundromat that her family operated. Her photography evolved as a natural way to document the world around her. She has amassed a nationally recognized collection of photographs, collages, and short stories that capture moments from the Bay Area hip-hop scene in the 1990s in her exhibit, Oakland Picture Lady: Tales of a 90’s Girl in 2022.

Over a half-century ago, DJ Kool Herc unknowingly birthed the style and culture we now call Hip Hop when he played the first breakbeat at a house party in the Bronx, NY. Since then, Hip Hop has influenced social justice movements, infinite genres of music, fashion, art, and culture, and topped music charts worldwide. Your favorite DJs, MCs, breakdancers, beatboxers, and other legendary artists will showcase at concerts, tours, battles, tournaments, and exhibits to make this year’s golden anniversary of Hip Hop culture the most amazing yet! The entire Hip Hop culture will be honored and celebrated internationally throughout the year. 

NMAAM’s This is Hip Hop exhibit showcases the work of four notable documentarians representing the U.S.’s four major regions ( Midwest, West, East, and South. Last quarter, visitors witnessed the extraordinary photography of Chicago native Raymond Boyd (Midwest). Last quarter, the museum featured Raymond’s incredible work. On display were some of the most notable Hip-Hop icons still making an impact today, like, the St. Lunatics during their video shoot of ‘Summer in the City.’ Raymond also captured pictures of Salt ‘N Pepa, Lil Wayne and the Cash Money Records team, Flava Flav, Queen Latifah, and more.

Throughout the year, Hip Hop enthusiasts will experience some of the most memorable moments and iconic performances in Hip Hop history through each photographer’s unique experience. Visitors will witness work from Andre Leroy Davis (East Coast), an artist renowned for his must-see illustrations that satirize and comment on current events and culture, and the South’s very own Shannon McCullum, a self-taught photographer from Atlanta with more than 25 years of experience in the music industry. These documentarians have been featured in record labels, museums, and national music and culture magazines like the Source.

NMAAM is also launching a multi-level sponsorship package, allowing industry brands to present their logo in the galleries, host VIP meet and greets, and receive promotional advertising during any one of the four regions of the exhibit. You can learn more about the yearlong exhibition and celebration at