On 50 Years of Hip-Hop

There’s an excellent article in today’s NYTimes on hip-hop at 50. “Hip-hop kids didn’t know a national struggle for civil rights as more than lore or part of a lesson plan. They had experienced personal strife — the struggle for food, shelter, safety, stability, jobs and respect. How many of these artists came of age in or adjacent to public housing and the criminal-justice system? Plight was in the art.
Hip-hop represents a break with the past because it exploded out of something that broke: this country’s promise to its Black citizens. And unlike aspects of jazz and Motown, this new music wouldn’t be arguing for its resplendence, worthiness and incomparable ingenuity. Salves, appeasement, subtlety, civility, love — those evidently didn’t work because here we are. Bring the noise.”
To director and sound designer David M. Jenkins, TWILIGHT: Los Angeles, 1992, can’t exist in theatrical space without a soundtrack heavily steeped in hip-hop: Public Enemy, NWA, Ice-T, and Kam exist alongside other disenchanted artists of that moment like Rage Against the Machine, Infectious Grooves, and the Dead Kennedys. Even though Jenkins was making the transfer from high school in Jacksonville to college in Tampa during the uprisings, these songs and artists were very much part of his youth.
Read the full article, and we hope to see you at the show Aug. 16-27!

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