View Full Version : Tupac Shakur Honored By Library of Congress

06-24-2010, 07:36 PM

Rapper Tupac Shakur's song "Dear Mama," Bill Cosby's second comedy album and rare battle sounds from World War II are among 25 recordings the Library of Congress is preserving for their cultural significance.

Selections for the 2009 National Recording Registry are being announced Wednesday. They must be at least 10 years old and be culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.

The combination of Cosby - an outspoken critic of profanity and violence in hip-hop culture - with work from a rapper who was shot and killed in 1996 is notable, but organizers said Tupac's "Dear Mama" was a heartfelt homage to mothers struggling with addiction and poverty.

It's also a "relatively tame" recording, and the cultural impact of hip-hop is undeniable, program coordinator Steve Leggett said. Tupac is the third rapper inducted, following Grandmaster Flash and Public Enemy.

In announcing the registry, Librarian of Congress James Billington said the list "showcases the diverse beauty, humanity and artistry found in the American soundscape."

The new additions include performances by Little Richard, Willie Nelson, REM, Patti Smith and the 1923 recording "Canal Street Blues" by King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band for epitomizing the sound of New Orleans.

Organizers chose Cosby's second album, "I Started Out as a Child," over his first simply because they thought it was better overall, Leggett said.

The World War II recording is from the second Battle of Guam in which the U.S. forces retook the island from the Japanese.