Growing up in hip hop means I’ve also grown up with hip hop. I was there when cats wore lumberjacks and raccoon hats. I was in the mix when Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince won the first grammy for a rap song or when Salt-N-Pepa made parents cringe by “Talkin’ bout Sex”. I still remember every word and intonation in “Self Destruction”. I sided with those who said MC Hammer‘s commercialism was tantamount to selling out. Shit, I remember when N.W.A. was gangsta but revolutionary! Brand Nubian taught me knowledge of self. Big Daddy Kane schooled me in the art of performance. Kid-N-Play, Nice & Smooth, Leaders of the New School and Black Sheep kept me on the dance floor. I tried to memorize every new move Scoob & Scrap came with. Outkast took me on a trip out of this world. And after hearing Wu-tang for the first time, I truly was seeing pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars and green clovers.
What I’m saying is that I’ve bore witness to the evolution of hip hop, internally and externally, including its emergence as a dominant culture in the U.S.. Over the last decade and a half, images of hip hop culture and artists have dominated American media and these images more and more have shaped the global impression of hip hop. Armed with a degree in anthropology from the University of Connecticut a camera and a gang of self determination, Mike Schreiber turned his passion for photography into a career and is one of the most noted hip hop documentarians in the game today. In 2010 he published “True HIP HOP”, a collection of stunning (mostly black and white) photographs of hip hop artists from throughout his career. The book and accompanying touring exhibition lands in Atlanta July 9, 2011 at the Hagedorn Foundation Gallery. Schreiber, a self-taught, NY based photographer will be on hand to sign copies of his book as well as participate in a panel discussion just before the opening titled “Its Bigger Than Hip Hop”. The panel features guest speakers, Dr. Joycelyn Wilson (Hip Hop 20/20 Project) and Rodney Carmichael (Music editor/critic Creative Loafing) and is moderated by yours truly. The panel will focus on the impact of media in hip hop culture and how representations of hip hop influence and are influenced by black culture, domestically and internationally.
Please be sure to join us on July 9, 2011 beginning at 5pm for the panel and exhibition by Mike Schreiber. Afterwards the party continues at the High Museum with CULTURE SHOCK: Celebrating the opening of “Radcliffe Bailey: Memory as Medicine” with an outdoor party. Tour the exhibition then enjoy dance music al fresco from some of Atlanta’s premier DJs, including Karl Injex, Kai Alce, DJ Kemit and special guest DJ Maseo (De La Soul).