Peabody’s Computer Music department celebrates hip-hop’s silver anniversary this year with a three-day mini-festival exploring the Black American art form’s history, influences, and creative possibilities. Curated by faculty artist and assistant professor Wendel Patrick, who created Peabody’s first hip-hop class, the festival brings Chicago rapper and producer Lupe Fiasco to campus and culminates with the 100th session of the Baltimore Boom Bap Society, the improvisational hip-hop collective Patrick co-founded in 2011.
“In the 50 years that have passed since Kool Herc threw his ‘Back to School Jam’ in the rec room at 1520 Sedgwick Ave., hip-hop has grown to become one of the most powerful and influential music genres on the planet,” Patrick says. “I had the privilege of introducing Peabody to hip-hop with my first class offering here in 2016. Since then, and with the support of the Peabody community and the interest and hard work of the students, the program has grown steadily each and every year. Now in 2023, we are beyond excited to present this festival and to celebrate hip-hop’s past, present, and future with our incredible festival participants, which include notable Baltimore hip-hop luminaries as well as Grammy Award-winning emcee and Words, Beats, & Life 2023 Rap Laureate, Lupe Fiasco.”
The Hip-Hop at 50 panel discussion on November 15 features Baltimore emcees Ill Conscious, J Pope, Miss Kam, promoter and artist Shaka Pitts, and faculty artist and emcee Jabari Exum. On November 16, the Baltimore Boom Bap Society—Patrick and co-founder, producer, and DJ Erik Spangler—holds an interactive discussion session of the improvisational series in the Cohen-Davison Family Theatre.
On Friday, November 17, Peabody welcomes Lupe Fiasco to campus for an artists’ talk with Wendel Patrick in the Cohen-Davison Family Theatre. And that evening, the Baltimore Boom Bap Society Session 100 takes place at Le Mondo Arts, featuring emcees Lupe Fiasco, Ill Conscious, Ashley Sierra, Raf Almighty, and Saleem, vocalist Ama Chandra, beatboxer Max Beats, percussive dancer Becky Hill, trumpeter and Richard and Elizabeth Case Chair of Jazz Studies Sean Jones, woodwinds and percussionist Jamal Moore, bassist Jeron White, producer Paul Hutson, the Deadly Venoms dance crew, and Spangler and Patrick.
All events at Peabody are free and open to the public. Tickets for the Baltimore Boom Bap Society Session 100 are available online.