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NOLA Hip Hop Archive on its way

Archive logo COLOR (4_3)

Tulane University’s Amistad Research Center, the nation’s oldest and largest independent archive of African American history, will be adding hiphop and bounce to its historic collection for the first time. Starting in the spring of 2014, a collection of filmed oral histories spearheaded by Holly Hobbs will be available online and in physical form at the research center. The launch of these videos is in conjunction with photographer Aubrey Edwards and writer Alison Fensterstock’s Where They At bounce exhibit materials (first exhibited in 2010 at the Ogden). The archive is currently in the middle of its kickstarter campaign to raise funds for thirty additional oral history captures, and Hobbs shared some of her photographs with Nolavie that are part of soon to be unveiled permanent collection. For now, feast your eyes on some of the pillars of local hip hop and bounce:

Mannie Fresh

Mannie’s oral history interview for the Archive covers his upbringing in the 7th Ward, his father’s DJ career, and the 1980s New Orleans venues and parties where he started his legendary music career. Mannie also talks about the early days of Cash Money Records, how they used to do A&R, and selling their first records out of the trunks of their cars. The interview was shot at the House of Blues in New Orleans before Fresh performed for a sold-out audience in summer 2012.

Nesby Phips

Nesby talks to the Archive about growing up in Hollygrove, block parties he saw as a child, his parents’ record collection, his father’s drumming career, and how he first started producing for Curren$y. He also speaks extensively about jazz and blues influences and how New Orleans hip hop and bounce are directly related to these forms and others. This interview was shot at Inner Recess Studio in New Orleans.

Allie Baby

In her interview, Allie talks to us about her musical influences as a child, how she got her start, performing with the legendary 8-ball (of 8-ball and MJG), being produced by Mannie Fresh, and the many difficulties involved with being a female rapper. Her interview was shot at the house of a family friend on New Orleans’ West Bank.

Sess 4-5

Rapper, promoter, event organizer, record store owner and community activist Sess 4-5 talks to the Archive about his upbringing in the Desire projects of the New Orleans 9th Ward, how he started rapping, how the scene has changed over time, and stories about leading community protests, including a famous protest at City Hall after Katrina and his annual Katrina commemoration second line. Sess’s interview was shot at his record store, Nuthin But Fire Records, on Claiborne Avenue in New Orleans.


Legendary producer KLC talks to the Archive about the influence of second lines and brass band music in New Orleans, founding his first record label in his family’s home, producing for No Limit Records with the famed Beats By the Pound production team, and takes us step by step through the making of some of his most famous songs, including “Bout It, Bout It” and “Down 4 My N***gaz.” This interview was shot in KL’s studio in Baton Rouge. Mystikal and DJ Spin both showed up to do interviews with us too!

Nicky da B & Rusty Lazer










In Nicky’s young career, he has already had a world-wide, massive hit–the Diplo-produced “Express Yourself”–and has performed at the Sydney Opera House in Australia. Nicky talks to the Archive about “sissy bounce,” the changing bounce music scene, and his influences as a child. He also takes us step-by-step through his songwriting process. This interview was shot at DJ Rusty Lazer’s house in the Bywater, where we also recorded Rusty’s interview.


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