Harvard Library Shelves Kendrick Lamar’s ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’

Lauryn Hill, Nas and A Tribe Called Quest also made the cut.

By Hayden Wright

Critics said Kendrick Lamar’s 2015 To Pimp a Butterfly transcended music as a contemporary cultural text. Now the librarians at Harvard University agree — it will be honored alongside The Miseducation of Lauryn HillNas’ Illmatic and A Tribe Called Quest’s The Low End Theory in the university archives. Rapper, producer and lecturer 9th Wonder led the curation of Harvard’s These Are the Breaks project, which aims to bring hip-hop into the literary canon.

Related: Kendrick Lamar, Future, Lil Wayne to Headline Rolling Loud 2017

“In 2012, I was chosen to be a Harvard University Fellow at The Dubois Institute under the direction of @henrylouisgates and Dr. Marcy Morgan,” 9th Wonder wrote in a since-deleted Instagram post. “I chose the research project ‘These Are The Breaks’….a collection of albums that are the standard of the culture…..200 in all in no particular order. These are the first four we chose to start with….to live for forever in the Harvard Library…and to be forever placed in the canon…complete with liner notes and the vinyl that was used in the production of the album…… To live forever.”

See them in their new bindings here:


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