The Hip Hop Paradigm: Mapping and Transcending its Boundaries

Conference Schedule for Friday, March 23

9:00am-10:00am    Breakfast, Registration, Opening Remarks
                                   Location: Student Lounge – School of Education

10:00-11:30am        Emcee Workshop:  “The Art of Freestyling and its Role in the Artistic
                                   Development of Emcees,” facilitated by Toni Blackman
                                   Location: Schorling Auditorium – School of Education

Renowned wordsmith Toni Blackman will discuss the significance of lyrical freestyling in the cultural and artistic development of the emcee and will facilitate an interactive session in which she will describe and demonstrate the creative process.

11:00-12:00pm        Video Screening of Write or Die, by Lana Jones
                                    Location: 3752 School of Social Work

Write or Die is a high energy documentary that provides us with an in-depth look at the colorful world of Hip-Hop graffiti writers, along with all its aesthetic qualities, potent symbols and urgent messages.  Directed by Lana Jones and produced by Jones and Dr. Tshombe Walker, Write or Die was filmed on location in New York City, and centers on two of Brooklyn’s most blazing graffiti crews, From Us Crazy Kings (F.U.C.K.) and We Gets Fame (W.G.F.).  The documentary provides a platform for these artists as well as other national and international graffiti writers an opportunity to grapple with the burning questions of art and crime.

Featured Writers include: LC-TATY, DECK, LI, DAN 1, KET 1, Lady Pink, Twoil, Vase 1, Merk 1, King Bee, Diva, Ceos, Juice, Aspekt, Julius, Cin2, and Smash.  Featured Crews include TATS, VIC, WGF, FUCK, Urban Warriors, YNN.

12:00-1:00pm            Lunch Break

1:00-2:15pm               "The 5th Element of Hip Hop: KNOWLEDGE,” facilitated by Afrika Bambaataa
                                      Location: Schorling Auditorium – School of Education

Universal Zulu Nation founder Afrika Bambaataa will discuss the origins of hip-hop as we know it and will open himself as a resource regarding what he considers to be the fifth essential element of the culture–KNOWLEDGE.

1:30-2:15pm               Video Screening of Inverted Minstrel, by Gigi Otalvaro-Hormillosa
                                      Location: 3752 School of Social Work

In this interdisciplinary video/performance live art piece, Gigi Otalvaro-Hormillosa (a.k.a. Devil Bunny in Bondage) takes on a multifaceted character who embodies the vato/playmate, the deconstructed lesbian who "lacks," the queer savage, and the inverted minstrel who inverts the concept of "minstrelsy" in terms of race, gender and sexuality. Using the politics of hip hop in queer communities of color, she questions the extent to which Asian, Latino/o, mixed race, and other non-white/non-black cultures of resistance assimilate into and appropriate both white and black dominant cultural practices of representation. The performance raises questions around issues of cultural appropriation, inversions of hierarchy, black/white sexual supremacist ideals, relational patriarchies, racial formation in the U.S. and the way in which U.S. pop cultural imperialism influences racial constructions around the world.

2:30-3:45pm               Bboy/Bgirl Workshop: “Essence of the Foundation,” facilitated by Crazy Legs
                                      Location: Schorling Auditorium – School of Education

Legendary b-boy and cultural innovator Crazy Legs will demonstrate the specifics and the artistry of breaking and will relate ideas concerning the conception and development of this international expressive form.

4:00-5:15pm               DJ Workshop: Facilitated by Tony Touch
                                      Location: Schorling Auditorium – School of Education

DJ Tony Touch will illustrate the technical aspects of turntablism while discussing the deejay’s important position in the history of hip-hop culture and while considering the current direction of this element in light of the climate of today’s music industry.

5:15-6:30pm                Dinner Break

6:30-9:00pm               “Wild Style: The Birth of a Hip-Hop Nation," film screening and discussion
                                       with director Charlie Ahearn
                                       Location: Angel Hall Auditorium

For those craving the true roots of rap, Wild Style (1982) captured the hard core South Bronx scene at its birth.  The stars of Wild Style form the pantheon of hip-hop’s pioneers: DJs Grand Master Flash, Grand Wizard Theodore, D.St.; rappers Grand Master Caz and the Cold Crush Brothers, The Chief Rocker Busy Bee, Double Trouble, Fantastic Freaks, and RAMMELIZEE; and b-boy champions The Rock Steady Crew.  Beat music is provided by the legendary Blondie, guitarist Chris Stein, and Fred Brathwaithe.

Wild Style stars the legendary subway artist Lee Quinones and the queen of the graffiti scene, Sandra PINK Fabara.  Graffiti Masters DONDI, ZEPHYR, and DAZE also bombed for the movie.  FAB 5 FREDDY, who, along with writer/producer/director Charlie Ahearn, helped create Wild Style, shines as the smooth hip-hop impressario PHADE.  Wild Style follows the outlaw artists through the train yards to the rap/breakdance clubs.  The movie climaxes with a massive outdoor jam, definitely the most famous hip-hop party in history!

Following the screening of this groundbreaking achievement, filmaker Charlie Ahearn will present a documentary slide segment during which he will discuss the origination and evolution of graffiti writing in the Bronx, New York and beyond.

9:00-1:00am               LIVE PERFORMANCES, featuring Tony Touch and Afrika Bambaataa
                                      Location: Michigan League (Ballroom and The Underground)


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