Celebrating 50 Years of Hip Hop

Tuesday, Feb 06, 2024
• Cristal Gonzalez :

2023 Center for African American Studies Conference

The Center for African American Studies (CAAS) will host its 12th Annual Conference, “Celebrating 50 Years of Hip Hop,” on Wednesday, Feb 7.

Attending the event will be Big Daddy Kane, regarded one of the greatest rappers of hip hop’s “golden age,” and DJ 9th Wonder, a Grammy Award-winning producer known for his work with Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige, Destiny’s Child and many more. DJ J Cruz, from local radio station K104, will also help pay homage to hip hop.

“Our mission of the program is to educate the public on various aspects of African American life,” said Jason Shelton, CAAS director. “We’ll have a dynamic conversation about hip hop, its impact, its consequences, how it’s changed and what its future looks like.”

The conference will start with a faculty panel moderated by Jandel Crutchfield, associate professor in the School of Social Work. Following the panel, DJ J Cruz will lead a student forum on hip hop, Big Daddy Kane will deliver a keynote speech and DJ 9th Wonder will conduct a masterclass on the art of DJ-ing.

“Hip hop is entertainment, but it’s also culture,” said Shelton. “It’s a movement for generations in Black America. We’ll have fun, but also talk about the deeper issues that underlie the music. Every year, we talk about a different topic at our conference. Some years are more academic, others are fun and entertaining. However, there’s always the thread of scholarship that connects all of those things.”

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