DJ Afrika Bambaataa, a pioneer in the world of hip-hop for more than 30 years, comes to Ithaca in a new role this week: visiting scholar.
Moving from behind the turntable and to the front of the classroom, Bambaataa begins a three-year stint at Cornell University, where he’ll lecture several days a year for the school’s new hip-hop course.
As part of the new gig, Bambaataa will also participate in several local events.
At 8 p.m. today, he will speak at a panel discussion for Ithaca College’s Hip Hop History Month Celebration in Emerson Suites.
Bambaataa will be joined by Crazy Legs, DJ Rich Medina and Joe Conzo as they discuss their contributions to hip-hop culture and answer audience questions. There will also be a music showcase featuring IC Breakers, IC Spit That!, and others. The event is free to the public.
At 5 p.m. Tuesday, Bambaataa will give a public talk on the history of hip-hop in room G10 of Cornell’s biotechnology building, which will also feature Crazy Legs and DJ Rich Medina of the Rock Steady Crew.
Afterward, Bambaataa and Medina will perform at The Haunt. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show begins at 8. Tickets are available through Dan Smalls Presents.
Bambaataa was born Kevin Donovan in 1957 and was one the earliest purveyors of break-beat deejaying in the early 1980s. His single “Planet Rock” was a landmark of the period, with its mix of heavy synthesizer and electronic rhythms, setting the template for much of the techno and trance music to come. Bambaataa has been a social activist as well, and in the 1970s, he created the Universal Zulu Nation to spread awareness of hip-hop music and culture.
Bambaataa was appointed visiting scholar by Cornell University Library’s Hip Hop Collection, the largest national archive on hip-hop culture. The collection contains 7,000 vinyl recordings, as well as flyers, photographs and posters from the genre’s earliest days. The archive is open to the public.
Source: The Ithaca Journal
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