Sunday, December 7, 2008

Roehl's Favorite Hip Hop Artists

One of my favorite Hip Hop artists is Bryonn Bain, Brooklyn's Famed Spoken Word Poet. Bain currently teaches at Columbia University and at Riker's Island Prison. The Utne Reader claims that Bryonn Bain is one of 30 visionaries under 30 who are changing the future.

Bain first came into the national spotlight when he was falsely imprisoned by the NYPD during his second year at Harvard Law School. Following his false imprisonment, Bain wrote the article "Walking While Black" for The Village Voice, and that article earned him a Mike Wallace interview on 60 Minutes.

I took a class from Bryonn last year about the importance of Hip Hop to youth culture. Here are some ideas from my notebook:
  1. Many Hip Hop artists incorporate socially responsible themes into their music; however, the music industry capitalizes on stereotypes of gangs, guns, drugs, and misogyny.

  2. 70% to 80% of Hip Hop consumers are white, suburbanites.

  3. Rap is something you do. Hip Hop is something you live.

  4. The components of Hip Hop are the DJ, the graffiti artist, the B-Boy or B-Girl breakdancer, and the emcee (also known as the spoken word poet or rap artist).
Bain's Hip Hop lesson ideas for schools have been greatly influenced by Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed. For an excerpt of Freire's book, click here.

Click here to watch a five-minute clip about Bryonn Bain.

Listen to a few of Byronn's songs, like "Ancestor's Watching," by clicking here.

For more information about Bryonn, visit his website

Another favorite Hip Hop artist of mine is Origin. Origin, aka Jeremy Dudley, is an elementary school teacher in Albany, New York. Jeremy, like me, is a teacher working with the National Urban Alliance (NUA).

Click here to check out Origin's website and some of his songs. There's even a news video about the rapping elementary teacher.

Here's a picture of Jeremy with Evelyn Rothstein (the woman responsible for the A to Z Taxonomy, defining format, and the metacognition frame) at a workshop that I attended in Albany last summer.

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