Twelve Songs That Teach Hip-Hop History

“What we’re gonna do right here is go back, way back, back into time.” — Troglodite, by the Jimmy Castor Bunch Hip-Hop has always been hyper-conscious about its roots, maybe because it began with young people playing, and then rapping over, older music. Hip-hop artists of all stripes are constantly sampling, referencing, and quoting artists

Artists: Engage in Global Un-War Project

Today I am reposting a powerful call to action from artist Krzysztof Wodiczko, head of the Interrogative Design Group and professor in residence at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. For decades, Wodiczko has been carrying out large-scale public and community-engaged design projects addressing social issues, many related to the causes and consequences of war.

“I Don’t Mind Standing a Little Longer”: Remembering Julian Bond through Poetry

Yesterday, long-time civil rights organizer and social justice warrior Julian Bond passed away at the age of 75. His legacy reads like a map of the African American civil rights struggle in the US: from co-founding the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Southern Poverty Law Center, to sitting 20 years in the Georgia State

Schooling Hip-Hop: A Review

As part of my ongoing effort to read everything about hip-hop education, I recently finished Schooling Hip-Hop: Expanding Hip-Hop Based Education Across the Curriculum, edited by Marc Lamont Hill and Emery Petchauer. I’ve read individual chapters before, but this was

Transforming LGBTQ Narratives through Art: Past, Present, Future

Last week’s historic Supreme Court decision on marriage equality has sparked celebrations of love around the country, as well as calls for a refocusing on more intractable issues like LGBTQ discrimination, homelessness, and hate crimes. This is a time to honor the hard work that has been done, while situating this win in the context

From the Crates: Beats, Rhymes, and Classroom Life

I’ve been catching up on my hip-hop education reading, and just finished Marc Lamont Hill’s award-winning 2009 book Beats, Rhymes, and Classroom Life. Dr. Hill has become a popular and controversial public intellectual, currently the host of HuffPost Live and

Remembering Cultural Organizer Guy Carawan

This past month we lost one of the great cultural organizers of our time. Guy Carawan passed away on May 2 at the age of 87, closing out a life dedicated to music, justice, and the celebration of folk culture.

#BlackLivesMatter #SayHerName and the Art of #tintedjustice

Today is a national day of action demanding an end to state violence against Black women and girls, catalyzed by a call from Black Youth Project 100, Ferguson Action, and Black Lives Matter. This day follows close on the heels of the Say Her Name report put out by the African American Policy Forum, which

The Other Art History: An Interview with Nicolas Lampert (Part 2)

Below is part two of my interview with Nicolas Lampert, author of A People’s Art History of the United States. Click HERE to read part 1 of the interview, in which we discussed his early development as an artist and

The Organic Globalizer: Hip-Hop, Political Development, and Movement Culture

Edited by Christopher Malone and George Martinez New York: Bloomsbury, 2014. 296 pp. $29.95 (paperback). I am thrilled to announce that today marks the release of the new book, The Organic Globalizer: Hip-Hop, Political Development, and Movement Culture, which includes