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Wu-Tang Clan Portrait Session

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Iconic Hip-Hop artists the Wu-Tang Clan and the venerable singer-songwriter Alicia Keys have made history as the newest additions to the National Recording Registry.

The Library of Congress made the announcement on Wednesday (April 13) that they’ve chosen the debut albums of the legendary group from Staten Island, New York as well as from Harlem native Keys among their twenty-five recordings worthy of being preserved for all history for the registry, which was founded in the year 2000. “The National Recording Registry reflects the diverse music and voices that have shaped our nation’s history and culture through recorded sound,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden as part of the announcement regarding the selections. “The national library is proud to help preserve these recordings, and we welcome the public’s input. We received about 1,000 public nominations this year for recordings to add to the registry.”

Enter The 36 Chambers, released in 1993, was selected by the Library of Congress because the album “would shape the sound of hardcore rap and reasserted the creative capacity of the East Coast rap scene. The group’s individual artists would go on to produce affiliated projects that deepened the group’s influence for decades in hip-hop.” Songs In A Minor, Keys’ 2001 debut album which featured her not only singing but writing and producing most of the album herself, would lead to her winning five Grammy Awards the following year. “I’m so honored and grateful that ‘Songs in A Minor,’ the entire album, gets to be recognized as such a powerful body of work that is just going to be timeless,” Keys said of her album’s inclusion on the list, calling it one of her favorite albums.

The 2022 list for the National Recording Registry also includes A Tribe Called Quest’s The Low-End Theory among its entries, which includes the 1974 radio broadcast of Atlanta Braves Hall-Of-Famer Hank Aaron hitting the home run to break Babe Ruth’s major league record of 714 and the broadcasts capturing the events of 9/11 from WNYC. The list also includes jazz drummer Max Roach’s We Insist! Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite and Mexican-American pop singer Linda Ronstadt’s Canciones de Mi Padre. The entire list can be seen on the National Recording Registry’s website.