"Hip-Hop: A Cultural Odyssey," a combination book launch and exhibit premiere at Los Angeles' Grammy Museum, kicked off Grammy Week 2011 on Tuesday night in Los Angeles. The interactive exhibit features the exclusive content of ARIA Multimedia Entertainment's massive tome (13x18 inches and nearly 16 pounds) of the same name, whose 420-plus pages encompass the rich history of the genre. The exhibit itself -- encompassing photos of hip-hop pioneers and contemporary influencers, interactive mixing and listening stations, video footage, handwritten lyrics (from Eminem, Tupac Shakur and others) plus more original artifacts from clothes to a 1980s dookie chain -- is the culmination of what museum executive director Bob Santelli says is "a long-time dream 15 years in the making." Godfather of hip-hop Afrika Bambaataa hosted and also manned the turntable at the event's rooftop reception. Special guests included MC Lyte, DJ Quik, Kool Keith and boxing champ Mike Tyson who, despite the hovering of his two bodyguards, managed to shake his moneymaker a time or two from his post at the edge of the dance floor.

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Afrika Bambaataa on the wheels of steel playing the music he helped invent at L.A.'s Grammy Museum. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/WireImage.com)
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Even Iron Mike had trouble lifting all 16 pounds of the "Hip-Hop: A Cultural Odyssey" tome. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/ WireImag.com)
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Fans checking out the exhibition's hip-hop timeline. (Photo by WireImage)
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Songwriter/producer Jimmy Jam (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/WireImage)
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Actor / director Mario Van Peebles (L) and daughter Maya (Photo by Paul Archuleta)
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Hip-hop heavy DJ Quik flanked by Billboard senior editor Gail Mitchell and her daughter Alexis Simpson. (Photo courtesy of Gail Mitchell)
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Tupac Shakur's iconic portrait. (Photo by Gail Mitchell)
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The green outfit OutKast's Andre 3000 wore when he performed "Hey Ya" during the 2004 Grammy Awards. OutKast's "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below" became the first and only exclusive hip-hop album to win the Album of the Year award. (Photo by Gail Mitchell)
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DJ Jazzy Jeff and the French Prince spelling out their roles. (Photo by Gail Mitchell)
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Will Smith, from the Fresh Prince to bankable box office superstar. (Photo by Gail Mitchell)
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L.L.-Cool-J-endorsed Troop line of sportswear, which matched his multitude of Kangol hats, was popular with hip-hop artists in the '80s. (Photo by Gail Mitchell)
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The Hombase tour jacket promoting DJ Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince's 1991 album. (Photo by Gail Mitchell)

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