DJ Kool Herc — hip hop’s founding father — and his sister Cindy Campbell plan to bring a hip hop museum to their home country of Jamaica. The idea was first announced during the Jamaica Music Conference held in Kingston earlier this month and Herc discussed it in more depth during a recent interview with Billboard.
“When I was looking around [Kingston throughout the weekend], I saw that Peter Tosh and Bob Marley had museums,” he told the outlet. “Well guess what? I created something, so therefore, I have a contribution myself and it would add to the Jamaican economy with tourism.”
Furthermore, Herc spoke on mainstream American artists taking inspiration from Jamaican music and culture, without properly crediting the country’s influence.
“It started with Eric Clapton when he covered Bob Marley’s ‘I Shot the Sheriff’ [in 1974],” he said. “We should use it to our benefit instead of just making noise about it. It’s nice when somebody else uses our music. Just give recognition and give back money where it comes from. [It’s always about] taking something from us, but at the same time they know we are powerful and to be respected. When they are picking off of you it says something about the music.”
During the conference, Herc, Campbell, Solid Agency CEO Sharon Burke, TIDAL’s Jason Kpana, Pandora Music’s Diego Herrera and YouTube’s Tuma Basa discussed the Jamaican music industry and its influence on hip hop.
According to the outlet, Campbell hopes a hip hop museum would not only create another source of tourism revenue for the country, but highlight Jamaica’s importance over hip hop’s foundation and today’s hits.
“It will definitely open up a whole other world musically for Jamaica,” she said. “[The island] is a core tourism Mecca and [the museum] could be a place where people would want to go to learn about history. [They will] not only [have to go to the United States]—it will be right here in Jamaica. I think if the government got behind it, it would be profitable and an asset to the country.”
The museum is reportedly in an early stage of development.