Decolonising the Pitt Rivers instrument collection: Inner Peace Records collaborate with African musicians to make new hip hop from instruments held in the museum

Imagined by Hip Hop artist Rawz, Digging Crates brings to life silenced musical instruments cared for at the Pitt Rivers Museum. Using Hip Hop and in collaboration with the Pitt Rivers team, the Inner Peace Records Collective explored the stories and sounds of African instruments to develop new rhymes, rhythms and tracks.


Created over Summer 2021, Rawz and the collective jammed with Africa born musicians Shyam Shah, Kofi Adu, Miles Ncube and Boni Wanda, sampling their shared sounds to create new tracks.


Digging Crates worked with African instrument collections to explore the sometimes difficult histories and questions that these instruments can provoke, from the impact of colonisation on music, to who has the rights to share these sounds today.  


Over 2022 the Digging Crates team will be sharing these conversations and launching a new EP comprised of tracks created during the project and recorded inside the museum. You can read about the events below.


Digging Crates is part of the Humanities Cultural Programme and supported by TORCH, Helen Roll Foundation, CLORE Duffield Foundation, Art Fund Access Fund and St John's College and co-promoted by OCM.



Project events coming up

Digging Crates EP Launch with support set from African jazz band Wanda-NA-KL

  • 11th June, doors 7pm, music 8pm

Hear the new music at the heart of this project: Hip Hop made by Inner Peace Records in the Pitt Rivers Museum, with Shyam Shah, Kofi Adu, Miles Ncube and Boni Wanda.

Book tickets here:

Presented and co-produced by OCM.


Closing event for Rawz Sound Artist Residency at St John's

  • 16th June, time TBC
  • St John’s College

Celebrate Rawz’s residency at St John’s with a sharing of new tracks in conversation with Hip-Hop Professor Jason Stanyek.


Past project events

Digging Crates Film Screening and Q & A

Join Rawz and the Inner Peace Records collective to launch Digging Crates, a documentary film that brings silenced African instruments to life through new Hip Hop tracks.

Created in collaboration with the Pitt Rivers Museum. Sam Mansell is director, cinematographer and editor.


Digging Crates: Who Owns the Word? - POSTPONED

  • This event is postponed, we will update you when we can

Join Inner Peace Records as they weave new words around instruments cared for at the Pitt Rivers Museum and discuss the question, Who owns the word? with researcher Noel Lobley and Hip Hop scholar Jason Stanyek.


Listening Party #11: Music that Inspires

  • 4th May, 8pm
  • The Barn, St John's College


Oxford's Bring Your Own Music night! An open mic style night where the audience brings their favourite tracks to share. This time we're getting inspired! We are joined by Rawz and Tiece who sings with Inner Peace Records. We’re looking for songs that have fueled our imaginations, aspirations, and have empowered us. 

Presented and co-produced by OCM.



Photo credits: film stills from Digging Crates film by Sam Mansell, behind the scenes photography Ben Atiyah.