Emerson will host Grandmaster Melle Mel (of the Furious Five) and hip-hop historian JayQuan on Wednesday, November 30, for The 40th Anniversary of “The Message” and the Birth of Socially Conscious Hip-Hop, an evening highlighting socially conscious rap through the genre’s history, evolution, and influence.
The event, which will be held from 5:30-9:00 pm in the Bordy Theater, is free and open to the public, but tickets must be reserved in advance on Eventbrite.
“As we sit at the 40th anniversary of ‘The Message’ as a groundbreaking song, and at the eve of the 50th anniversary of hip-hop as a culture, the examination of Grandmaster Melle Mel and the poetic value that he brought to the genre is of utmost importance,” said JayQuan, official historian for the Hip Hop Museum in Washington, D.C.
The presentation will focus on Grandmaster Melle Mel’s early usage of graphic social commentary, including 1979’s “Superrappin,” (in which he first revealed the infamous “child is born” verse that later served as the finale of 1982’s “The Message”), and four subsequent songs that influenced his contemporaries and, arguably, every generation of rap artist that followed.
The evening will begin with a Showcase of the Culture, including artwork (graffiti, photography, fashion, and live art) by Kyd Goku, and will feature live performances by The Floor Lords & Tufts Breaking Team, and local hip-hop artists Termanology and Oompa.
Sponsored by Intercultural Student Affairs, with the Office of Student Success, Flawless Brown, 88.9 WERS, and The Secret Society of Black Creatives.