The Library Of Congress has announced that several of hip-hop & R&B’s most cherished projects have been inducted into the National Recording Registry. Nas may have just won his first Grammy but it arrived just before it was announced that his quintessential 1994 debut, Illmatic has been inducted into the National Recording Registry. Additionally, Janet Jackson’s 1989 album, Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814 will also be honored similarly.


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“The National Recording Registry will preserve our history through these vibrant recordings of music and voices that have reflected our humanity and shaped our culture from the past 143 years,” Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden, said in a statement. “We received about 900 public nominations this year for recordings to add to the registry, and we welcome the public’s input as the Library of Congress and its partners preserve the diverse sounds of history and culture.”

The National Recording Registry applauded Nas‘ debut for being “characterized by the masterful use of multi-syllabic and internal rhyme, surprising line breaks and rhythmic complexity, the album’s technique has been widely copied and proven broadly influential.”

“We wanted ‘Rhythm Nation’ to really communicate empowerment,” James “Jimmy Jam” Harris III, who worked extensively on Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814, said of the project. “It was making an observation, but it was also a call to action. Janet’s purpose was to lead people and do it through music, which I think is the ultimate uniter of people.”

Check all of the National Recording Registry Selections for this year below.

  1. Edison’s “St. Louis tinfoil” recording (1878)
  2. “Nikolina” — Hjalmar Peterson (1917) (single)
  3. “Smyrneikos Balos” — Marika Papagika (1928) (single)
  4. “When the Saints Go Marching In” — Louis Armstrong & his Orchestra (1938) (single)
  5. Christmas Eve Broadcast–Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill (December 24, 1941)
  6. “The Guiding Light” — Nov. 22, 1945
  7. “Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues” — Odetta (1957) (album)
  8. “Lord, Keep Me Day by Day” — Albertina Walker and the Caravans (1959) (single)  
  9. Roger Maris hits his 61st homerun (October 1, 1961)
  10. “Aida” — Leontyne Price, et.al. (1962) (album)
  11. “Once a Day” — Connie Smith (1964) (single)
  12. “Born Under a Bad Sign” — Albert King (1967) (album)
  13. “Free to Be…You & Me” — Marlo Thomas and Friends (1972) (album)
  14. “The Harder They Come” — Jimmy Cliff (1972) (album)
  15. “Lady Marmalade” — Labelle (1974) (single)
  16. “Late for the Sky” — Jackson Browne (1974) (album)
  17. “Bright Size Life” — Pat Metheny (1976) (album)
  18. “The Rainbow Connection” — Kermit the Frog (1979) (single)
  19. “Celebration” — Kool & the Gang (1980) (single)
  20. “Richard Strauss: Four Last Songs” — Jessye Norman (1983) (album)
  21. “Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814” — Janet Jackson (1989) (album)
  22. “Partners” — Flaco Jiménez (1992) (album)
  23. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”/”What A Wonderful World” — Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (1993) (single)
  24. “Illmatic” — Nas (1994) (album)
  25. “This American Life: The Giant Pool of Money” (May 9, 2008)