The Associated Press reports that 25 new albums, songs, and speeches have been selected for addition to the National Recording Registry and Jay-Z’s classic 2011 album, The Blueprint, is among them. Other albums joining Jay’s soulful classic include Curtis Mayfield’s Superfly and Cyndi Lauper’s She’s So Unusual.
The National Recording Registry is a library of recordings deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically important, and/or inform or reflect life in the United States,” and was created in 2000 by the National Recording Preservation Act. Its purpose is to record and safeguard the legacy of US sound recordings that best reflect the times in which they were created, in order to maintain a more accurate history of the nation itself.
That Jay-Z, former hustler turned rapper turned successful entrepreneur, and the embodiment of the American Dream, has been included is a huge step both for hip-hop and America. Considering how many radio stations refused to play “race records” around the time of rap’s inception, it’s significant that rap is being acknowledged as an art form with yet another historical accolade.
Other recordings included in the Registry this year: Nina Simon’s “Mississippi Goddam,” Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September,” Sam & Dave’s “Soul Man,” Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline,” and a Robert F. Kennedy speech given after Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1968 assassination.