New Revival reveals how hip-hop is more than music

Many assume that hip-hop and superheroes are two completely opposite things but that was proven wrong on Feb. 2. Frank King, assistant professor of ethnic studies and David Gillota, assistant professor of English, explained hip-hop in today’s world and the importance of positive black super heroes at the first Liberal Arts and Education faculty forum of the semester. King and Gillota provided their stance on where hip-hop is from and where it is now, as well as how Luke Cage and the Black Panther are helping steer a direction for more black heroes rather than sidekicks. “Hip-hop is more than music; it is a culture,” said King to begin the forum. King went on to explain how hip-hop evolves much like other cultures and how the culture comes from disco. The fall of the Black Panthers in the 1970s caused social uprising and the development of the hip-hop arts, such as the beginning of graffiti, break dancing and DJaying. King used a series of different song clips to show both positive and negative expressions of the culture. He believes that rap is part of today’s hip-hop culture and that not all rap is about sex and violence. Zion I and the Grouch, Dead Prez and KRS-ONE are just a few examples of spiritual rap that target the realities that people face in their daily lives. It is incredible what the art of songwriting can do for his or her listeners. “I feel like hip-hop spoke to me. It is the reason I got my doctorate,” King said. Along with embracing and being a more loving human being, one must find love and respect for other people who may be different. Gillota explains the media texts, such as comics and moviesand how they have not provided black superheroes justice. Fortunately, the trend of blacks taking secondary roles appears to be fading thanks to the uprising of the Netflix series for superhero Luke Cage and the Black Panther from Captain America: Civil War. The latter of which will have his own film coming out in 2018. Thanks to both of these faculty members, attendees were able to walk away with a better understanding of hip-hop’s complexity and the growth of black superheroes in media. “I definitely have a new understanding of where hip-hop is from. I never knew about the origins of it and how graffiti was considered a part of it,” senior English education major Emilee Meincke said. The Liberal Arts and Education faculty forums will continue this semester and there will be two more presentations. Each presentation is in Doudna 136 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The next presentations will be on Thursday, March 2 and Thursday, April 6. The topics for discussions will include “Wenzhounese: A Chinese Dialect in New York City” and “Concussion Injury in Football: Legitimate Concern or Media Hype?”