Tag Archives: hip hop politics

keep yoga integrated: support desi yoga teachers

dear readers,

if you’re in nyc, come through to taste a session of hip hop yoga.  this monday, Q/B train to cortelyou, 7-8.  it’s at a salsero studio, called latin fever.  across from met foods.  $10.  it’ll feel good.  chill, open up, nice vibe.  here’s a couple pics of our hip hop politics class.  the hip hop, it flows all true her.

hhp 2010: the coldest

hhp w/ prof. singh: the boldest

Tagged , , , , , , ,

so yo, soy yo, a teacher: thank you hip hop politics

dear readers,

today marked the last class session of hip hop politics at pace.  i have to say, i am so thankful to have shared the space with the 32 student-teachers who ran with me all semester.  i learned a lot from them, hopefully they learned a bit from me, and i can’t wait to see them do their damn thing in the 4th annual hip hop politics performance.

teaching is a blessing i can’t describe

ever since i was a child i’ve wanted to be a teacher

and this semester was harder than any before

i may have gone above and beyond

i may have fallen short

but i know i came through

every damn class

for the love of hip hop

for the love of education

for the one young lady

who never finished a sentence without laughing

but who’s research reflected such sharp intellectual potential

for the one young man

who bloomed from tucked away in the corner

to up in front and meditating a lively discussion based off his ideas

for the older students

who came through with their hopes and skills so shining

for the one who always came in late

like clockwork though and i know she soaked us in

for the one with the glasses who subscribed to this blog

because i hear the clarity of your voice ringing out above the room

for the one who always teared up

because what she’s going through she knows i understand

for the one who finally cut off dude

because it’s no more drama time

and because she’d rather be single than disrespected

because she has so much more to be in this world

because she can learn

how to live

and live better.

thank you hip hop politics.

thank you so much.


prof. singh

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

hip hop in the classroom: featuring the indie mc’s and workshop facilitators, amo1 and l.i.f.e. long

dear readers,

be real, when you hear the term indie musicians, you generally don’t think about independent hip hop artists. but the independent hip hop scene is still shining and two of it’s brightest stars, amo1 and l.i.f.e. long, recently facilitated a workshop with the hip hop politics students at pace university. check this short film to taste their workshop live. here, the underground mc’s comment on cross-genre influence and the role of the underground in keeping hip hop outside of a bubble.

as workshop facilitators, musicians amo1 and l.i.f.e. long delivered a high energy performance of their new cut, “life lessons”; fielded hard hitting questions on sexism in lyrics; led a writing session framed as a mock studio session wherein the students all wrote 8 bars or a verse; and created a final cypher space in which we all got down with a flow. both amo1 and l.i.f.e. long have sky high credentials on the hip hop landscape, as their bio’s clearly state (link above). but one of the beauty’s of being independent is their ability to control how they connect with their audience.

to give you a sense of the diversity of sounds within independent hip hop, let’s take a deeper look at these mc’s. l.i.f.e. long’s deceptively chill flow is trump tight with spiritual lessons, such as the haunting urge for patience in the title track of his ep, “the waiting game.” amo’s sound is one of bell like clarity, his sharp storytelling rivals slick rick’s in cuts like, “it’s brooklyn,” and his profanity belies a reservoir of urban warrior sanity. both independent mc’s feature lushly mixed tracks, piping in public enemy style walls of sound, ripe with archival samples from television and cinema screens and full throated support from fellow mc’s.

the workshop with these independent musicians lifted wings and flew. their nimble facilitation reminded me of how important it is that we all take part in supporting the underground in finding and maintaining new audiences. and how, even in small ways, we as teachers can keep hip hop alive in academia through lifting the genre up off the two dimensional page into three dimensional performance.

hip hop was born independent, shaking off south bronx policies of benign neglect, rebirthing as stars from dirt falling through the cracks and still shining, no institutional or corporate affiliation yet still writing, pockets stuffed with ink like silver lining. fast forward and hip hop is now a billion dollar industry, toeing a dicey line in the global market, a line between erasing borders and creating, even policing, them. but the underground lives, a striking feat, particularly for the war torn independent hip hop landscape of new york city. nyc is ground zero for the capitalization of hip hop, that is, glittering skyscrapers of profit for a few and gaping craters of broken contracts and undelivered promises for most. but these are rappers whose parents danced to james brown on whole and on the break, these are musicians whose younger years were steeped in sepia tones of afrika bambaataa rocking at the roller rink, and biggie rapping on the corner. these are rappers whose freestyling crews of the early 90’s ripped new lyrical galaxies into the english language.

it could be argued that the independent hip hop scene is more creative, more alive in smaller american cities, and still more vibrant outside of the u.s.a. i would support that contention, but i also support independent hip hop artists right here in nyc. where it all began, and where it still is.

stay tuned,

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,