What’s Important About These Items
In a world, in a life, where music was recorded and released on tangible material, the promotional components were part of the audio experience. Danny Savage gifted the UHHM Archives and Collections with rarities, such as the promotional postcard for “Davy’s Ride” (a track on 1987’s 12” “Have You Seen Davy” by Davy D) and the historic Yo! MTV Raps Trading Cards. He also donated the picture books for the industry-changing tours by the Beastie Boys (Licensed to Ill, 1987), Run DMC (WORLD TOUR, 1986 and Tougher Than Leather, 1987), and LL Cool J (Nitro World Tour, 1989 – 1990). Today, fans can always comment, and occasionally engage with artists, on their social media accounts. When Danny and this author were growing up, access points and actual connections were few and far between. Thus, the tour picture books, which include as many off the cuff and unexpected photos as they do professional and “for the public” pictures, are to be cherished.
The iconic standing of Danny’s donations is not only felt in what the items literally provide. In 1992, the Beastie Boys started their own label – Grand Royal – and long before authors could self-publish and musicians fully controlled their discographies, three friends from New York City made a way for them to create, compile, release, and reissue. Run DMC is, arguably, the most influential Hip Hop group and these three men were early to bringing the genre to the mainstream, and expanding the culture as people became aware. LL Cool J’s Nitro World Tour followed the releases of “BAD” and “Walking with a Panther,” and with his cohorts – EPMD, Slick Rick, De La Soul, Big Daddy Kane – LL not only confirmed his place in rap royalty, he asserted himself as an inspiring and collaborative artist.
Why Danny Donated These Items to the UHHM
Danny was specific and clear when he told us why he donated to the museum. He wanted to share some of what has moved and motivated him since he was growing up: “I don’t remember exactly the first rap song I heard. It was probably a Kurtis Blow cut or “Rapper’s Delight.” I do remember the first cassette I purchased when I was old enough to actually jump on my bike, with my own money. It was “Raising Hell,” [one of the most significant albums ever, by the Kings of Hip Hop, RUN DMC] and not because of “Walk This Way.” I picked the album because my friend played “Hit It Run,” “Peter Piper,” and “My Adidas” for me. I still can’t quite articulate why or why I loved it so much; it was one of those things in life that instantly spoke to me. Even though I wasn’t living that life in those specific neighborhoods, I genuinely felt that I was a part of it. Maybe it was empathy. Maybe it was my desire to be educated beyond my bubble. Maybe it was my appreciation of the beats, the cuts, and the rhymes. Whatever it was. It was awesome.” We cosign, Danny. And we thank you.
In Danny’s Words
“For me, Hip Hop is kinda like the backpack you always carry: the contents occasionally change, and the backpack itself is always Hip Hop. 100%. Making a donation to the Universal Hip Hop Museum supports how this music has educated me on things every person should be aware of, while softening my heart and mind to make me a better, more tolerant and understanding human being. This is an undeniable honor. Gratitude.”
– Danny Savage