There are nights when Antonia Anderson dreams of new ways to rearrange the memorabilia that make up her hip-hop museum. When she wakes up, the commute is short – a walk down the hall of her Lindsay Heights apartment and she’s in the museum. Which, when no one else is around, also happens to be her living room.
Antonia’s 365 Hip-Hop Museum (2222 N. 19th St.) opened in July of 2021 when the pandemic shut down Anderson’s usual pop-ups. The exhibit displays her personal collection of more than 5,000 items, including cassettes, vinyl records, eight-tracks, action figures and everything hip-hop-related in between. It’s a treasure trove she’s been building since 2012.
“When I was growing up, there weren’t a lot of African American faces in the media,” Anderson says. “It’s not just for me, it’s also for the community.”
While it’s obvious that you’re in someone’s home, the velvet ropes at the entrance suggest otherwise.
Anderson’s tour takes you past shelves stacked with figures of rappers like MC Hammer and activists like Malcolm X. Landmark records from iconic artists like Public Enemy and KRS-One adorn the walls, and a collection of VHS tapes chronicles the unfortunately short-lived
acting career of legendary rapper Tupac Shakur.
Depending on your familiarity with the words “Yo! MTV Raps,” Antonia’s Hip-Hop Museum is either a walk down memory lane or an educational glimpse into history. But for Anderson, it’s also a way to connect with people today.
Antonia’s 365 Hip-Hop Museum is open Monday through Friday by appointment and Saturday and Sunday from 1-5 p.m.