W&M to hold 2nd Annual Hip Hop Celebration

Swem Library made headlines last year when it established the William & Mary Hip Hop Collection to chronicle Virginia's hip hop history.

On April 3, the library will celebrate the collection with an event featuring performances by local hip hop groups and DJs, a panel discussion featuring Mark Anthony Neal (pictured at right), a display of Hip Hop Collection artifacts and more. The 2nd Annual W&M Hip Hop Collection Celebration will be held from 1-6:30 p.m. in Swem Library. It is free and open to the public and sponsored by Swem Library, Alma Mater Productions (AMP) and the American Studies Program.

The celebration will begin at 1 p.m. with a welcome and banner induction in the Read & Relax area. A panel discussion featuring Neal, Cymandye Lady C, Mustafa Malik Shabazz and Quinelle Holder will follow at 1:15 p.m. in the same space.

From 1:30 to 4 p.m. live performances by J’sar, the Virginia Grind Family, Intalek, Handles and W&M graduate Jerome Waller ’13 (aka J.B. da Pilot) will take place on an outdoor stage, near the sundial. John Lee, a visiting instructor in W&M’s art department, will be creating a mural on the patio of the library’s Special Collections Research Center from 1 to 4 p.m.

DJ Bee of Fresh Radio will be spinning records and W&M’s S.M.I.L.E.S. Crew will be dancing in the Botetourt Gallery from 2 to 4 p.m.

From 4 to 5 p.m. the library’s Special Collections Research Center will host an open house and display materials from the Hip Hop Collection. A reception will be held at 4:15 p.m. followed by a panel discussion featuring Zulu Queen MC Lisa Lee, M$ Blendz, Frank Nitty Newman and Mz Meka.

The W&M Hip Hop Collection is dedicated to Virginia's hip hop culture and history. The collection includes oral histories committed to documenting Virginia’s hip hop past, as well as recordings of hip hop music, publications, and materials created by Virginia and Virginia-based artists, groups and businesses. Additionally, the collection documents the origins and impact of hip hop culture on college campuses throughout the state.

About the speakers and performers

Dr. Mark Anthony Neal: Neal is professor of black popular culture at Duke University, where he won the 2010 Robert B. Cox Award for Teaching. Neal has written and lectured extensively on black popular culture, black masculinity, sexism and homophobia in black communities, and the history of popular music. Neal is the founder and managing editor of the blog NewBlackMan. He hosts the weekly webcast “Left of Black” in collaboration with the John Hope Franklin Center at Duke University. A frequent commentator for National Public Radio, Neal contributes to several on-line media outlets, including Huff Post Black Voices and SeeingBlack.com.

Mustafa Malik Shabazz: Shabazz is an area entrepreneur who specializes in graphic arts and communication through multi-media. He is the creator of Sucker Free Radio, an online radio station that streams 24 hours of hip hop music each day. He is a grassroots media and communications organizer known for his artwork. Shabazz has created art for t-shirts, magazine covers, CDs and murals.

Zulu Queen MC Lisa Lee: Born and raised in the Bronx, NY, Lee is one of the pioneering women MCs of hip hop. As the first and only female MC of the Universal Zulu Nation, she recorded “Zulu Nation Throwdown,” the first Zulu Nation professional recording, with Afrika Bambaataa and the Cosmic Force for Paul Winley records in 1980. She appeared in the landmark hip-hop motion pictures Wild Style and Beat Street. Today Lee is an advisory board member of the Cornell University Hip Hop Collection, and is a member of the William & Mary Hip Hop Collection. 

Quinelle Holder: Holder was born in Jamaica Queens, NY and attended high school in Hampton, VA. He is the digital content manager for HipHopSince1987.com, co-producer of the Humble Monsta web series and a media personality for Profound Aesthetic. He is also the founder of The Red Tag Society, a lifestyle blog inspired by Levi’s jeans.

Intalek: Hailing out of Virginia Beach, VA, Intalek has opened for Skillz, U-N-I, Tanya Morgan, MIMS, Kooley High, Actual Proof, and, most notably, the Wu-Tang Clan. Intalek travels and performs at universities and colleges along the east coast and spreads his brand of hip hop internationally through his album "Lives and Vibes."

J’sar: J’sar was born in Newport News, VA. In 2001, J’sar linked with DJ Silk and Producer Traxx, where he had his first in-studio session at The Lab Recordings. J'sar earned a placement on hip-hop super producer Nottz Raw's Welcome Home Volume 2. His music has made it into the studio of Edward Nixon, chief engineer of the Grammy winning J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League. Recently, J'sar performed at HipHopSince1987's Can I Kick It 2014 and will be performing at Shaggfest in June at the Virginia Beach Amphitheater.

The Virginia Grind Family: The Virginia Grind Family (VGF) is a collective of artists based out of Virginia Beach who use their talents to create music that demonstrates unity in Hampton Roads. The group consists of Vince Loyal, Voe Black, Royale, Ezzy Money, Crayo, J Red, Ave The Don, Justus.

J.B. da Pilot: Raised in Virginia Beach, Jerome Waller ‘13 (aka J.B. da Pilot) first realized his passion for music in the church. Starting off by playing a number of instruments, it wasn’t long before the young musician found himself obsessed with hip hop. Although he always considered a career in rap, it wasn’t until his years at William & Mary that he decided to pursue his dream. After linking up with long-time friends, he created the Mile High Club.

DJ Bee of Fresh Radio: DJ Bee is a Philadelphia, PA native and the CEO and program director for Fresh Radio, an online radio station that plays classic, progressive, hip hop, R&B, soul and reggae 24/7. He hosts and DJs “The Fresh Start Morning” show on Fresh Radio and “DA Block” on Norfolk, VA radio station 103 Jamz. DJ Bee has over 20 years of experience in the music industry including 16 years of AM/FM, satellite and internet radio. When DJ Bee is not showing off his turntable skills, he is lecturing at different colleges and universities on topics such as the history of hip hop and the role of the mix tape in hip hop history.

S.M.I.L.E.S. Crew: William and Mary’s B-boy team, S.M.I.L.E.S. Crew, is a student organization dedicated to hip hop culture and dance. The S.M.I.L.E.S. Crew, which stands for Style’s Mastery Instantly Leaves Everyone Speechless, was established in 2008.