hip-hop diplomacy

Ansley performed in Kolkata as a part of Next level programme. It is an initiative sponsored by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in association with the University of North Carolina’s Department of Music. She spoke to BE’s Abhijit Ganguly at the American Centre.

June 13, 2014

Jamsteady recently played host to two different kinds of performance. One was a performance by a local jazz rock band, while the other was that by hip-hop artists from the US. The gig also featured a street play and performance by a musical ensemble. The next event saw American hip-hop troupe, Next Level, perform along with local hip-hop enthusiasts and dancers at a city nightclub.

On a  sultry afternoon in the city when the rest of the Kolkatans were busy with their routine tasks, a small crowd cheered throughout the performance by hip- hop artists Next Level at the American Center. The performers from the US entertained the audience along with local hip-hop enthusiasts and dancers. Next level programme is an initiative sponsored by the US Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in association with the University of North Carolina's Department of Music.

Despite growing up in the birthplace of hip-hop, Bronx resident Ronalda Livingston traveled all the way to Germany to learn more about her borough's biggest export. "It was a mind-blowing experience," said Livingston, now 21, of her first-ever overseas experience, a visit to Berlin in 2010. "I have grown so much since the trip."

Early adopters in countries like Morocco, Algeria and Palestine have a more strongly developed and time-tested hip-hop scene—but across the greater Arab world, hip-hop has risen up alongside folk anthems as a revolutionary soundtrack. And in the Western world, Arab diaspora rap preoccupies itself with questions of Eastern and Western dislocated identity.

A famous US Hip-hop, soul and spoken word artiste Charyse Bailey and her band, Mahogany Jones-Live, are in the country to share their music experience... The band's trip to Rwanda is designed to share America's unique contribution to the world of music and to promote cross-cultural understanding and exchange among nations worldwide.

Eight participants were involved in an intensive five-day performance arts programme in the YES! Hip Hop Academy held in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah recently.

Sim Yian Haw, 24, was among 35 chosen to participate in America's foremost training programme in hip hop held at Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) from June 1-5. The insurance agent had earlier submitted his dance routine for an online audition as he could not afford the expensive air tickets.