MILWAUKEE — There's a hip-hop museum in Milwaukee that is full of more than 3,500 records, rapper action figures, and even 'rap snacks'.
Antonia's 365 Hip Hop Museum is located in Antonia Anderson's apartment near West. Fond du Lac Avenue and N. 19th Street.
It started with a love for her music.
“Once I started going to the record stores I just start getting more and more and more," Anderson, the creator of the museum said.
You can actually come to her apartment and she will give you a tour and history lesson. You will get your standard history lesson that covers the basics of the beginning of hip-hop to today. But there is so much more to see. Anderson has tons of artifacts because she is concerned with preserving the culture of the genre. She has MC Hammer action figures, a Wu-Tang Clan chess set, rap comic books, clothes, flags, dvd's, vhs tapes, dolls, and of course tons of records. Since it's the Christmas season, she has put up a lot of Christmas albums. The center piece is a Christmas tree decorated with various hip hop artist action figures and cassette tapes.
However, her goal isn't just to preserve the culture, music, and dance of hip-hop. Anderson, a social worker assistant at a public school in Milwaukee, uses her collection and knowledge to connect with and establish relationships with the teens she works with.
“For people of color, I’m trying to get them to be proud of who they are, (to) be comfortable in their skin.”
Anderson said that the music and culture that comes with are so relevant and familiar to her students. Its easy to relate to them and establish those important relationships with the help of hip-hop.
“Cause I do work in the high school, and we need to build up their self confidence as much as we can.”
On Dec. 19, Anderson is holding a community event where she will host various poets and those involved in the hip-hop scene to promote the culture. It doubles as a way to get youth into her museum to establish those relationships.
It's a small taste of what she hopes to build in 2022.
“... offer workshops. Offer tours. Offer whatever is needed in the community. That’s what I hope for in 2022, and its going to happen," she said.
To go to her museum you have to contact her through Anderson's website. Monday through Friday is by appointment only. She has more open and regular hours on the weekend from 1p.m. to 5 p.m. You can't just knock on her door and expect a tour, though. You have to coordinate with her before you can come in. Go to her contact page to do so.