CHEO HODARI COKER
ADAM BRADLEY, moderator
Drawing upon the spirit of the annual political ritual of the presidents State of the Union address, the Athenaeum hosts a panel of prominent hip hop writers, academics, and artists who shall help assess hip hops importance to the present moment. How will hip hop, traditionally resistant to mainstream politics, respond to the ascendancy of the nations first black president? What directions will rap take as an art form? What are the consequences of hip hops rapid globalization?
These and other questions will be asked of a panel that will include the award-winning author Jeff Chang whose Cant Stop, Wont Stop: A History of the Hip Hop Generation (2005) has set the standard for hip hop historical writing; Cheo Hodari Coker, whose biography of the Notorious B.I.G. and screenwriting credit on the recently-released Biggie biopic, Notorious (2009), testify to a writer with a deep understanding of hip hops past and present; Ebony Utley, a scholar of communication studies at California State University, Long Beach whose work looks closely at hip hop for insights into race and its relationships with gender and language; and Crooked I, a Long Beach MC widely regarded as among raps most gifted lyricists, who has gained acclaim in hip hop circles for his numerous mixtape releases. The panel will be moderated by CMCs Adam Bradley, assistant professor of literature and author of the forthcoming Book of Rhymes: The Poetics of Hip Hop (March 3, 2009).