CULTURE EVENTS

When Rappers Used to Dance: An Exploration of Hip Hop and its Progression as a Culture [panel discussion] March 27, 2010

WHEN RAPPERS USED TO DANCE

A Hip Hop Town Hall Meeting
by Rowena I. Alfonso

“When Rappers Used to Dance: An Exploration of Hip Hop and Its Progression as a Culture” took place on March 27, 2010 at the Toronto Free Gallery.  Presented by The Bigger Than Hip Hop Show (CHRY 105.5fm) and OTA Live (FLOW 93.5fm), the event was a lively three-hour panel discussion about the changes that hip hop has undergone as a culture.  Moderated by Ty Harper, True Daley, and Rez Digital, the event had the feel of a hip hop town hall meeting.  The knowledgeable panel, consisting of emcee Spade of Citizen Kane, author Dalton Higgins, MFA student Ebony Haynes, Professor Rinaldo Walcott, and emcee Ian Kamau, spoke to an equally knowledgeable audience which included djs, emcees, commercial and community radio show hosts, as well as other respected members of the Toronto hip hop scene.

When Rappers Used to Dance March 27th panel

The panel covered a wide range of topics concerning hip hop, including the possible criminal origins of “the running man,” the changing gendered constructions of black masculinity and femininity, the sexual exploitation of black women (from the Hottentot Venus to the video vixen), fatherhood in the black community in general and in hip hop in particular, as well as the complex relationship between hip hop culture and capitalism.  The Q & A portion of the event contained few questions, but many comments as spirited audience members stepped to the mic to join the debate about the current state of hip hop in the T-Dot and beyond.  Sometimes serious, sometimes humorous, ever controversial, never dull, the event itself captured the multifaceted nature of hip hop culture and its practitioners.  However one feels about the changes in hip hop culture from the past to the present, it is clear that the future of hip hop is secure as long as the community that creates and nurtures it continues to discuss, debate and dance with each other.

Wan Luv Q

Tags: choreography, Citizen Kane, Dalton Higgins, dance, Ebony Haynes, hip hop culture, Ian Kamau, performance, Rinaldo Walcott, Rowena Alfonso

 
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