Music industry professionals educate on Hip Hop culture


English Professor, Damon Cagnolatti, host hip hop panel for black history month. Cagnolatti and a group of panelist share insight on the culture behind the music. Photo credit: Briana Velarde

Briana Velarde, Platforms Editor

In today’s society, when people think hip hop they refer to artists that are constantly being played on the radio rather than the culture behind the music.

On Wednesday, Feb. 24, a ‘Hip Hop: A social look’ panel discussion was held at 11 a.m. This was one of many events the college had to celebrate Black History Month.

The celebration of hip-hop music was felt throughout room LC 155 and Falcon Square.

Among one of the panelists was rapper, Toquan Tha MC, “Our main focus with this panel was basically to enlighten students on the culture of hip hop.

“I wanted to let them [students] know about the change in hip hop over the years of what it use to be, what it is and what it can be,” he said.

The discussion of the panel was to help students understand that hip hop is more than rap.

Hip hop has grown to encompass more than just rap music, it has created a culture that incorporates ethnicity, art, politics and fashion.

“There are many different pillars that are within the culture. There is graphite, fashion, beat boxing, break dancing, and most importantly being a DJ,” continues Toquan.

Students who attended the panel were eager to learn more about the culture of music and how they could improve themselves as an aspiring artist.

Derrick Wade, commercial music major said, “I came to the panel thinking they were just going to play music but instead I received knowledge about something I am passionate about because it is my career.

“I thought it was a cool idea to have speakers in one room and Power 106 playing the music outside,” he expressed.

Panelists also asked students questions themselves. The panelists wanted to know what hip hop meant to them. Many students started screaming out artists like Nicki Minaj, and Tyga.

The panelists discussed how radio just plays certain artists that are relevant right now but it doesn’t mean that they define hip hop itself.

They also mentioned that hip hop radio stations like Power 106 and Real 92.3 have a certain list of rappers that can be played on air.

To help promote the panel, The ‘Flava Unit’ from hip hop radio station Power 106 were playing music out in Falcon Square.

Students that attended the panel were able to go out and enjoy the music and get free giveaways like t-shirts, backpacks, and hats.

“Hip hop isn’t just music, it is a lifestyle. It can help young students like me overcome any situation. I guess I can say, hip hop saved my life,” Wade admitted.