Well, I finished what was hopefully my last law exam, ever, yesterday. And that's what kept me from posting about the "Is There Liberation After Hip-Hop" panel and after-party on Tuesday night.
The panel was A-Mazing:
Jeff Chang, Total Chaos editor
Jerry Quickley, performance poet
Malkia Cyril, director of Youth Media Council
Troy Nkrumah, chair of the National Hip-Hop Political Convention
Rosa Clemente, hip-hop activist
Moderated by: Davey D of Hard Knock Radio (94.1 FM KPFA)
I was particularly impressed with Malkia Cyril's breaking down of the role of the market in shaping hip-hop the same way it does the news, and discussing hip-hop as a medium, not a movement, but a medium that can be used to inspire a movement, and can be used by a movement to further its aims.
Rosa Clemente was powerful as well. When she talked about her view of hip-hop nowadays as essentially a black man's game, for black men's empowerment and voice, and that she was okay with that so long as people didn't try to pretend otherwise "and if you want to make it something more than that, we can talk" it was a refreshing thing to hear. Although somewhat separate from the idea of how empowerment and voice are defined (which she and everyone else also questioned in some interesting ways).
The questions from the audience afterwards... well not as thrilling as they could be. A few nice ones, a few "look at me!" type questions. But overall very very high quality of discussion going on.
Ad the after party was chill, but nice. I was distracted a little by the looming law exam I had to take the following morning. So I mostly chilled with DJ Tomas and the Wiretap crew. And some friends came out who were great to see. I played all the "other" music since folks were repping classic hip-hop and soul for the most part. My crates aren't deep enough to have classics in those genres that everyone else isn't going to have. But I felt sure that most people hadn't heard Mapaputsi and Maga Bo and Filastine and Funkstorung and Disrupt and hey-o-hansen and well I played some Neptunes instrumentals and other sounds from near and far. I think it went well.
Nice vibes at the Guerilla Cafe yesterday evening as well. thanks to all who dropped by..
An all-vinyl set, this time, of rocksteady (how can two years have produced so much good music), ska and dub. highlights were, Ken Boothe singing "Ain't No Sunshine" and The Fabulous Paragons singing "When the Lights are Low" and Tommy McCook and his band doing "Caltone Special." Man, that's some great sounds.