Situated inside the ground floor unit of NCP on New Quay Street in Spinningfields, the exhibition will display 250+ items from the 1970s to present day, that encapsulate the evolution and impact of Hip Hop on our city’s artistic, social, and political landscape.

Open to the public from 12pm – 8pm every Thursday – Sunday from 24 August – 30 September, the collection will include clothing, photographs, records, sketchbooks, posters and flyers that vividly showcase core elements of Hip Hop – emceeing, deejaying, breakin’ and graff.

Highlights include a 106FM D.I.Y. pirate radio transmitter built by Sergei (DNA) that was used to fearlessly broadcast unauthorised signals from makeshift studios and tower blocks across Manchester in the 2000s, introducing listeners to grass root DJs and artists.

The legacy of 106FM lives on, having since transformed into Unity Radio 92.8FM, the first independent black music radio station at Media City.

Other gems surfacing from the vaults of the Manchester Hip Hop Archive’s collection include cassette tape recordings of the late Stu Allan’s “Bus Diss” radio show from the 1980s, vintage Adidas from 1984, a Mr Scruff sketch book with ‘Keep It Unreal’ post card artworks spanning 20 years of shows at Band on the Wall, along with significant streetwear items from the pioneering boutique, The Sheep Store, acknowledged as one of the earliest, if not the very first, grey importers of the Supreme, X-Large, and Stussy brands within the UK.

A party thrown by DJ Kool Herc and his sister Cindy at 1520 Sedgewick Avenue in the Bronx on 11 August 1973 is officially recognised as the birthday and birthplace of Hip Hop.

50 years later, Hip Hop is a global cultural movement that’s richly woven into the fabric of our own city, for which the Manchester Hip Hop Archive’s unique collection of memorabilia and materials authentically showcases Manchester’s position in the history of UK Hip Hop.

In addition to the pop-up exhibition, Unity Radio will use the space to inspire the next generation of DJs, breakdancers, graffiti artists and fashion designers by offering a series of FREE, pioneer-led, youth workshops throughout summer. “The Elements Summer Programme” will run every Monday – Wednesday from 14 August until 4 September. Exciting activities include Adidas sneaker customisation sessions with Benji Bluntshank, DJ and MC sessions with DJ Basha and sustainable fashion workshops led by 90s Hip Hop inspired fashion brand Gbadebo.

These sessions are FREE to all Manchester residents aged 11 – 16 that are signed up on the www.mcractive.com website. Please be advised that spaces are limited. A free lunch is provided for those eligible. To book onto “The Elements Summer Programme”, visit the www.mcractive.com website and select ‘Unity Radio’ as a provider using the Activity Finder tool.

More details will be announced on this page soon!

Image credit: Tanzaro