Nwaka Onwusa


Nwaka Onwusa:

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 

Nwaka Onwusa has managed the enviable feat of making music the guiding theme of her career. According to her, the road to curating music history — first at the Grammy Museum in downtown Los Angeles and now at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland — began at UC Riverside. 

The first in her family to attend college, Onwusa says her experience working in the UCR fine arts box office got her foot in the door at the Grammy Musuem box office, then joining its education department, and later becoming its curator. In 10 years, she conceptualized, researched, and produced more than 20 exhibits for the museum, including “Legends of Motown,” “All Eyez on Me: The Writings of Tupac Shakur,” and “Hip-Hop: A Cultural Odyssey.” 

At the Rock Hall, Onwusa hopes to bring a broader range of artists into the fold, including those traditional rock ’n’ roll fans might consider outside the genre’s boundaries, especially more West Coast hip-hop artists.

Listen in for a conversation with Nwaka Onwusa as we discuss her career ascent in music and her new role. Plus, we’ll put her on the spot to name her all-time favorite songs.

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