Hip Hop Time Capsule: a summer program focused on diversity
Monday 23 August 2021
John Patti, WBAL NewsRadio 1090 and FM 101.5
Hip Hop Time Capsule is a new collaboration between high school and college students in Kent County, Maryland, and musicians, college professors and museum professionals.
As part of the program, a diverse group of 14 local teenagers, most of them deeply rooted in the community, recounted a musical legacy that spanned from work songs sung by slaves, through a vibrant gospel tradition, to young people. contemporary hip hop artists.
High school interns drew on Kent County history to create a unique sound and style. They took inspiration from the music and interviews from the Chesapeake Heartland digital archive to produce their own beats and music compilations. They created sleeves reinterpreting historical images. They wrote lyrics and poems highlighting the black heroes of our region’s past. They spoke about the importance of history, family and community in their own lives. They provided their own perspectives on the past, present and future of Kent County.
Together they have recorded and produced a series of demo mixtapes that will provide insight and inspiration to all current and future generations of Kent County residents.
Over the course of four weeks, students interviewed community elders, listened to decades-old smuggled recordings, examined centuries-old documents, wrote poems, mixed songs, designed album covers and developed their own musical characters.
Prominent local and nationally renowned professionals, as well as award-winning artists, also joined the students for the sessions.
Hip Hop Time Capsule is part of a larger effort to document the community’s black history, in collaboration with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, which has received more than $ 1 million in grants from the Mellon Foundation, State of Maryland. and others. It was undertaken by the Starr Center for The Study of the American Experience at Washington College in partnership with Minary’s Dream Alliance.
Check out the program’s work on Chesapeakeheartland.org.
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