Paths of Rhythm: A Hip Hop Pop Up Museum

  • November 1, 2023

In honor of Hip Hop’s 50th Anniversary, Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (JCAL) will present Paths of Rhythm, a pop-up Hip Hop museum designed with artifacts from local Queens collector, Geechie Dan, Co-Chairman of the Hip Hop Hall of Fame. The museum is viewable from November 27th - December 6th at King Manor Museum, located at 150-03 Jamaica Avenue. The opening reception will take place on November 27th from 7pm - 9pm.


Paths of Rhythm is curated by JCAL in collaboration with King Manor Museum with support from the office of Council Member Nantasha Williams. The exhibit will highlight the rich and storied history of Hip Hop, and its connection to the borough of Queens. With original items from Geechie Dan’s collection such as British Walkers, and cassette tapes with authentic audio dating back to 1978, the museum takes its visitors on a journey into sound that vibrated throughout the borough. 

“I'm originally from Hollis/St. Albans Queens and curating the exhibit with JCAL at King Manor in Jamaica Queens for 50 years of Hip Hop is really special for me,” says Geechie Dan. “It’s about being able to empower our community and have ownership of our culture and art form.”

King Manor’s Executive Director Kelsey Brow is thrilled to host the historic exhibit, stating: “King Manor is honored to be the venue for this pop-up exhibit. The history of hip-hop intersects with the history of activism in our community that we present at the museum and we're delighted for the opportunity to showcase original artifacts relating to the 50th anniversary of the genre in our 250-year old home --History is always being made!”

The exhibition marks another Hip Hop tribute in a year in which JCAL has dedicated several of its programs to the artform. JCAL’s “Straight From Queens Gala” featured a performance by Dres from the Hip Hop group Black Sheep. Its outdoor stage at Jamaica Jams Fest this past summer featured breakdancing, beatboxing, emceeing, graffiti artists, and a historic presentation by Geechie Dan, where he previewed several of the Hip Hop tapes and artifacts that will be on display at the exhibition.

“There is rich Hip-Hop soil in Queens that helped the movement grow,” Says JCAL’s Director of Programming Wendy Arimah Berot. “It's hard to speak on the early days without mentioning, RUN-DMC, LL Cool J, A Tribe Called Quest, Nas, and pioneering female artists like Sweet Tee and Roxanne Shante. Paths of Rhythm (taken from an ATCQ song) showcases only a small portion of how different branches of Hip Hop made an indelible mark in Queens from its inception.”

JCAL’s Artistic Director Courtney Ffrench adds: ““A Hip Hop museum is the perfect place to build on powerful narratives in the framing of black culture.”