Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art, charts the formative
phases of hip-hop through the experience of two of its early practitioners: the rapper
Ice-T and his friend and frequent collaborator, the producer DJ Afrika Islam. Working
with the archive the pair amassed over the years, curator Laylah Amatullah Barrayn
crafted a more expansive frame to mark not just their career trajectories but a more
holistic view of the culture as it marks its 50th anniversary this year. (November is
also National Hip Hop History Month.) The Globe spoke to Barrayn about some key
elements of the show that give shape to the larger narrative.