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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Panel finds intersection of rap, economy

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MSC Carter G. Woodson Black Awareness Committee and the Africana Studies Program, along with several other departments, will host “Rap Sessions: Global Hip-Hop and Economic Recovery,” an event that seeks to connect hip-hop to social issues and the economy.
The panel will be a follow-up of the movie screening “Unstoppable: The Roots of Hip-Hop in London,” which took place Wednesday.
Composed of hip-hop artists Akua Naru and Blitz the Ambassador, professor Dawn-Elissa Fischer and author Giuseppe Pipitone, this panel will discuss the entrepreneurial strategies of hip-hop.
“What hip-hop artists have done, like Boogie Down Productions, KRS-One specifically, and even the distinct Kanye West have argued is that black people need to be their own producers,” said associate sociology professor Tommy Curry. “So we need to take the buying power, the consumerism that drives black society, to imitate larger, white society in many ways because of relative deprivation. We need to take that power and produce our own goods, support our own businesses, create our own investments, banks, firms, etcetera.”
Bakari Kitwana, the creator of Rap Sessions, said he hopes to inform college students that a traditional job with a company is not necessarily the path one has to take, and in today’s economy is not the most reliable either.
“From the standpoint of students, I think it’s soothing because first of all, if they are interested in hip-hop, there are many opportunities out there, and also, even if they aren’t, to just begin to start to think about ways of how you can be viable independently,” Kitwana said.
Thursday’s event seeks to link hip-hop with larger issues to aid people of all types and backgrounds.
“That exposure can really help any student of any color of any background understand more about what rap is,” said Chaance Graves, electrical engineering junior and co-director of the educational sub-committee of the WBAC.
The discussion will be at 7:30 p.m. in the Preston Geren Auditorium of the Langford Architecture Building.

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