Wild Style directed by Charlie Ahearn was first screened in 1982 and went on to become the classic Hip Hop movie. After directing other films such as Fear of Fiction and artist documentaries Ahearn co-authored book Yes Yes Y’all, released in 2002 was an oral history of the first decade of Hip Hop with many photos by Ahearn. Wild Style The Sampler by Ahearn was published in 2007 on the 25th anniversary of that movie. Ahearn has been producing documentaries such as Richard Hunt Sculptor 2010, Jamel Shabazz Street Photographer 2011 and Hip Hop musical shorts, his latest being All City Take It To The Bridge. Ahearn resides in New York City.
Brian Coleman is a journalist and historian who is the author of three acclaimed nonfiction music books: Check the Technique Volume 2: More Liner Notes for Hip-Hop Junkies (Wax Facts Press, 2014); Check the Technique: Liner Notes for Hip-Hop Junkies (Villard / Random House, 2007; Shinko [Japan], 2008); and Rakim Told Me: Hip-Hop Wax Facts, Straight from the Original Artists. The ‘80s (Wax Facts Press, 2005).
In the 1990s and early 2000s, he promoted avant garde jazz and, starting in the mid-‘90s, moonlighted as a hip-hop journalist, contributing hundreds of articles and reviews to publications including XXL, Scratch, Wax Poetics, URB, CMJ, the Boston Herald, Metro Newspapers, and many more.
Ben Ortiz is the assistant curator of the Cornell University Library Hip Hop Collection. He devotes his time to promoting and providing access to the growing Hip Hop Collection, focusing on teaching, outreach, archival processing, and curatorial support.
The Hip Hop Collection is part of Cornell Library’s Division of Rare & Manuscript Collections, Cornell’s primary repository for rare books, manuscripts, photographs, archives, and more. More information is available here: PreservingHipHop.org The mission of the collection is to collect and make accessible the historical documents of Hip Hop culture and to ensure their preservation for current and future generations.
Msia Kibona Clark is an assistant professor at California State University, Los Angeles. Originally from Tanzania, she earned her BA in Political Science from Johnson C. Smith University, an MA in International Studies from American University, and a PhD in African Studies from Howard University.
Msia Kibona Clark specializes in African migration and identity studies as well as studies of hip hop culture and social movements in Africa. Msia was a 2013/2014 Fulbright Scholar to Tanzania where she taught courses at the Department of Fine and Performing Arts at the University of Dar es Salaam and researched the use and effectiveness of social media as a tool of engagement by hip hop artists.
Her scholarly publications include several articles such as: “Questions of identity among African immigrants in America”, “Identity Formation and Integration among Bicultural Blacks”, “Hip hop as social commentary in Accra and Dar es Salaam”, “The Struggle for Authenticity and Against Commercialization in Tanzania”, and “Gendered Representations among Tanzanian Female Emcees”. She also guest edited a special issue of the Journal of Pan African Studies on hip hop in Africa and co-edited the book Hip Hop and Social Change in Africa: Ni Wakati.
An accomplished photographer, Msia Clark has also done photographic exhibitions and photographic examinations of hip hop in Africa.
Dr. Clark is also a community and human rights activists, serving as the Uganda Country Specialist for Amnesty International USA. She also a member of the Tanzanian Women’s Association, the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), and serves as a board member for the Association of Social and Behavioral Sciences.
Mejah Mbuya is a pioneer on multiple fronts. as an artist, he is largely responsible for re-introducing graffiti art, known locally as ‘chata’, and shining a light on its history and socio-political relevance within Dar Es Salaam over the past ten years. Mejah and his team of fellow graffiti artists – Local, Medy, Kalasinga and Mizani 86 – make up the Wachata Crew, founded in 2007. The crew focuses on creating socially conscious graffiti art, developing a local taxonomy of graf images and symbols, and working on commission for companies, NGOs and artists of other mediums.
Meryem Saci is a singer/songwriter/MC from Algeria. At the age of 13, Meryem and her single mother were forced to flee the country due to its civil war. After several weeks of moving underground, her and her mother finally immigrated to Montreal, Canada as political refugees.
While struggling to adjust to a new country, culture and language, Meryem found release in music and hip hop. In the year 2005, she joined multi-cultural super group Nomadic Massive and has recorded 2 albums, 1 EP and 2 mix tapes with the group. Nomadic Massive has been rated the #1 Hip Hop Act in Montreal for five years in a row, and they have opened for Georgia Ann Muldrow, Mos Def, Deltron 3030, Wyclef Jean, Public Enemy and Busta Rhymes to name a few.
Meryem has performed internationally both with Nomadic Massive and as a solo artist in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, Canada and the United States. Her solo music has been featured in several TV Series and Cartoons as well as top grossing Canadian films such as Derapage, Omertà, Sur le Rythme. Her single, “One More Chance” from the Sur le Rythme soundtrack was #1 in the Top Montreal Music Channel Hit-list for 2 weeks. Meryem has also been working with Iraqui MC The Narcicyst for the Medium through features and tours. She recently came back from a residence in Marseille for Babel Med Festival with Beatmaker Imhotep from the legendary french hiphop group IAM, more collaborations ahead.
This year Meryem will release her first solo project.
Butta Beats is one part of the Nomadic Massive crew. He is a beatboxer, emcee, multi-instrumentalist, producer, song writer and independent educator plus he is tri-lingual (English, Spanish and French)
His participatory workshop will take the class through a brief history summarizing the political and socio- economic history that led to the development of beat boxing, its role in Hip-Hop culture, whilst placing an emphasis on its connection to other genres of the African-American musical experience. The participants will be guided through basic technique, counting, and listening exercises, and then perform a series of collaborative exercises in order to help create a final choral piece with the instructor.
Metal is one of Hip Hop Fundamentals’ co-owners and leaders. he has been dancing for over 13 years, competing and performing professionally in America and abroad until he discovered his passion for education. After majoring in English Literature, he continued to study Arts Integration and is also a part-time consultant for the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts. He dreams of an academic system where the arts and academics are no longer polarized.
Montreal’s own Nomadic Massive has firmly established itself as a group of premier performers and skilled musicians in a genre that has evolved from its early days of two turntables and a microphone. These musical nomads represent an open-minded Hip-Hop which finds its inspiration in the traditions of the past; combining live instrumentation, samples, and a wide array of vocal styles.
This multilingual, multicultural, super-group has become synonymous with energetic and crowd-moving live shows. Sharing the stage with such notable acts as Ariane Moffatt (2010) « An chante pou Ayiti », Wyclef Jean (2008), K’naan (2005), and Guru’s Jazzmatazz (2008); Nomadic has also performed at world class festivals including the Montreal International Jazz Festival (2007), and in Toronto at Yonge-Dundas Square’s Global Rhythms Festival (2008), and the Harbourfront Global Hip-Hop Festival (2006, 2007).
The group has also left its mark internationally; initiating socio-cultural exchanges with like-minded artists from Sao Paolo, Brazil (2008) and in Havana, Cuba (2004, 2006). In both countries, these initiatives involved educational and musical workshops, concerts and studio collaborations. From these enriching exchanges, the grassroots “Get Down” mix-tape series came to life; showcasing the collaborations as well as solo contributions from Brazilian and Cuban artists. Functioning somewhat as ambassadors, Nomadic continues to redefine what Hip-Hop can achieve on a global level.
With the first critically acclaimed EP, Nomads Land (2004), more than 3000 copies were sold independently on the strength of the group’s performances before inking a distribution deal with Montreal-Toronto based Public Transit Recordings.
As the group’s ongoing explorations open up new ways to interpret a musical style that has traditionally been marginalized, the “more” that has always existed in the Hip-Hop movement is revealed in everything that is Nomadic Massive.
Omar Offendum is a Syrian-American Hip-Hop artist – born in Saudi Arabia, raised in Washington DC and living in Los Angeles. He has been featured on several major news outlets (Aljazeera/ PBS / LA Times / Rolling Stone / VICE / NY Times / The European), toured the world to promote his ground-breaking music, helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for various humanitarian relief organizations, lectured at a number of prestigious academic institutions, and most recently been involved in creating several critically-acclaimed songs about the popular democratic uprisings throughout the Middle East & North Africa. He is currently hard at work on several new projects while touring to promote his solo release ‘SyrianamericanA‘.