Its official. Hip-hop is no longer the CNN of the streets, as Chuck D. labeled it back in the heyday. Were in a postbling era, when Lil Wayne quips he doesnt do coke because it gives him acne, and Rick Ross has a number one album. No offense to the Big Boss, but were fans of music with a message. Now that the Eighties are back (as evidenced by Kanyes fashion choices and the simple, bass-heavy beats of the up-and-coming duo the Cool Kids), weve got our fingers crossed for a resurgence of talent à la Public Enemy and Queen Latifah before she got all Hollywood. Were willing to bet that the students, professors, writers, and brainiacs at the first annual Hip-Hop Symposium will agree. Titled Globalizing Hip-Hop: Place, Space, and Personhood, the conference will examine the influential genre from an international perspective. Call 305-919-5521, or visit africana.fiu.edu.
The two-day event is hosted by the FIU department of African New World Studies and will include panel discussions at The Wolfsonian-FIU (1101 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) and a Thursday-night bash at Mansion that were guessing is the first scholarly conference to culminate with an afterparty. It all begins at 8 p.m. at the Miami Beach Cinematheque with a screening of Counting Headz: South African Sistaz in Hip-Hop, a documentary that reveals the struggles with stereotypes in that nations rap game. Therell be an intro and Q&A with keynote speaker P. Frank Williams.
Wed., May 21; Thu., May 22, 2008