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The Circle: MUSIC

Back Off! - Occupy Hiphop: “Be Inspired”

Back Off_0.jpgThis is the final column of the year and it has been a notable year for Hiphop.  Hiphop has been a presence in nearly every major event in the world. Cutting edge scholarship, educational initiatives, social justice activities and artistic events have rocked the nation and planet.

Back Off - "When the Power of Words Causes Us to Move"

Back Off.jpgKnowledge is to Hiphop what freedom is to humankind.  We covet knowledge and are passionate about it.  We not only want knowledge, but we want more of it - all the time.  We test it, claim that we have it, argue about it, show off our knowledge... (read more)

Review - Beats, Rhymes, & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest

Had you seen me in that movie theater, laid back in my chair, picking at my five dollar Buncha Crunch candy, it wouldn't have taken much scrutiny to see that I was keyed up.  There's something about A Tribe Called Quest that makes you want to see them on a screen.

The Rappin' Mathemetician

bio photoIf my middle school math teacher broke out into a rap about the quadratic formula, I might not know how to handle myself in a classroom. However, for Alex Kajitani's students, a rapping mathematician is exactly what keeps them motivated to come to class.

The Universal Zulu Nation Celebrates 37 Years

UZN.jpgThe story of Afrika Bambaataa's founding of the UZN, explains Hiphop's genesis in past social movements as well as its influence on new social movements.

Book Review - Democracy Remixed: Black Youth and the Future of American Politics

democracy remixed.jpgIn the recently published Democracy Remixed: Black Youth and the Future of American Politics (2010), University of Chicago scholar Cathy Cohen proclaims the 44th President of the United States the "Lecturer-in-chief to Hiphop America."

The Coolest

lupe1_2.jpg I listen to a lot of music. A lot of different music. I am however confident in saying that across all the genres of music that I delve into and the roughly thousand artists you can find scrolling through my iPod, Lupe Fiasco's music always ends up getting pumped through my headphones more often than the other artists. He is the only artist I follow who I could truly, willingly listen to for days at a time.

Maybe you’ll love me when I fade to black…

fade-to-black.jpgThe first time I heard Jay spit those lines on "99 Problems," I loved it. The swagger in Hov's delivery hit me as hard through my headphones as Rick Rubin's blistering beat, my face twisted up, and my head nodded in approval.

Review: Tao of Wu by RZA

tao-of-wu.jpgThere are many ways to wisdom but RZA has definitely found his own unique path. The wisdom of the Abbot, the founder of one of hip-hop's most enigmatic crews, Wu Tang Clan, is, well, bizarre. Perhaps that doesn't come as a surprise to many familiar with Wu Tang, who know their lyrics, their personalities and their worldview. As someone who has wondered about the numerology, the alter egos and what exactly those chambers represent, RZA's Tao of Wu is illuminating.

"We Are Africans": Reviving Pan-Africanism, One Music Video at a Time

jjc recruiting.jpgNigerian-born hiphop artist JJC and fans celebrated the UK's Black History Month with the release of a new single and music video titled "We Are Africans." This militant anthem calls for unity among people of African descent, with JJC and his crew, Big Brovas, shouting out to the continent and the diaspora. "As long as you've got black in your skin, say it loud, say it proud: you are African!"

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