Search Museum of the Moving Image


Has Hip Hop Lost Its Political Voice?


Location: Redstone Theater

Town hall discussion with Claude “Paradise” Gray, Dan Charnas, Juhanna Rogers, Thembisa Mshaka, and Young Dirty Bastard in person

Moderated by Bill Stephney

In celebration of June as Black Music Month, the Universal Hip Hop Museum (UHHM) is hosting a town hall forum on the role of hip hop as a channel of political commentary and action. The UHHM is bringing together a group of dynamic thought leaders from various sectors of the hip hop community, to discuss the role of hip hop in shaping the future of communities of color. In America’s new political and social climate, critical conversations about the experiences lived by Black and Brown communities are essential. Hip hop is one space where the voice of the voiceless could always be found.

An important sources of hip hop’s power is rooted in the lyrics of artists who use verbal imagery to recount and address the many injustices that have plagued Black and Brown people for decades. The UHHM’s goal is to have a thought-provoking conversation about the state of today’s hip hop in relationship to its past and its prospects for the future.

Panelist will examine some of the following discussion topics:

Is the new hip hop generation assuming the same social justice responsibilities as previous generations?

What responsibility does hip hop have to fight back and speak up about today’s conditions in education and school to the prison pipeline?

How can hip hop challenge our current government that appears prepared to roll back laws, civil liberties and rights which will un-proportionately affect Black and Brown communities of color?

The participants are: 

Bill Stephney (moderator), principal executive for Broad Market Media, and former chief executive of Def Jam Records

Claude “Paradise” Gray, author of Ain’t No Half Steppin’

Dan Charnas, acclaimed journalist, screenwriter, and record producer 

Juhanna Rogers, scholar-artist and Indiana University Great 8 member 

Thembisa Mshaka, Indie filmmaker and author 

Young Dirty Bastard, son of Wu-Tang Clan member Old Dirty Bastard. 

Tickets: $10. Order tickets online