NCORE Conference Brings Hip Hop to Indy

Bamat1Since the 1970s Hip Hop music has been able to transcend cultural, socioeconomic, and language barriers since its birth in the Bronx, New York. Hip Hop music has influenced radio, television, and the way we view certain things that take place in our society such as crime and poverty. Yet in the past 30 years, Hip Hop music looks nothing like it did in the early days. The music today is more about material possessions, partying, and sexual content. Yet there are those who dedicate their lives to educating others about the importance of Hip Hop music. This year at the 2014 NCORE Diversity conference, a session entitled Hip Hop as Evolution: From Urban Shadows to the Global Mainstream and Academy was held to highlight the history and significance of Hip Hop music. Hip Hop pioneer Africa Bambaataa, Hip Hop artist Jasiri X, Yo Yo, Aisha Fukushima, and Hip Hop photographer Joe Conzo served as panelists for the two-hour discussion, which was held at the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis. Martha Diaz, who served as the moderator, facilitated the conversation where the panelists talked about the experiences, contributions, and influence that they’ve had on the Hip Hop culture. Africa Bambaataa took attendees down memory lane as he spoke of the origins of Hip Hop music. Bambaataa was very influential with using Hip Hop music as a way to draw young people from gangs and crimes to doing something positive by creating music. During the discussion Bambaataa talked about the importance of learning history about the past, and how as a people we can’t be caught up in believing the hype!“We have to learn our real history in order to have a sense of direction,” stated Bambaataa.HIP3The females also represented during the discussion. Aisha Fukushima currently serves as a Youth Coordinator at BAVC in San Francisco, California. Fukushima calls herself a ‘RAPtivist’, in which she educates others around the world about social justice & Hip Hop. Fukushima speaks of unity in her music, an appreciation of life, and her experiences living in other countries. Yolanda Whitaker, or better known to the world as Yo Yo, talked about her passion for other artists who had an impact on Hip Hop music. Yo Yo was a protégé of rap artist, producer, and director Ice Cube. When Yo Yo was asked about the death of Tupac Shukar, she was not afraid to express her feelings not only as an artist, but as a friend of the slain rapper.“I remember seeing Tupac right before he died. I was upset, because his life did not have to end that way,” said Yo Yo.Hip Hop’s fallen soldiers will never be forgotten. One person who has committed the last 30 plus years of capturing images of Hip Hop is photographer Joe Conzo Jr. Conzo’s work is now being featured at Cornell University’s Library Division of Rare Manuscript Collections. NCORE Conference attendees had the pleasure of witnessing various photographs from the collection during the panel discussion. The session concluded with each panelist giving last thoughts that reflected their passion, dedication, and love for Hip Hop Music. For more information on the panelists and the NCORE conference please visit,,, and




About nuamazinglife

Brandon Jackson is a writer, public speaker, relationship coach, and educator from Indianapolis, Indiana. After graduating from North Central High School in Indianapolis, Brandon attended Morris Brown College in Atlanta. He then transferred to Vincennes University where he received his Associates Degree in General Studies. In 2002 he graduated from Indiana State University with a degree in Radio &TV/Film. Brandon also attended Christian Theological Seminary where he studied for his Master’s in Marriage Family Counseling. Brandon believes that success in life begins when you know how to love yourself first and when you can love others regardless of their flaws. Brandon has spoken at various churches, colleges and universities throughout the Midwest. Brandon also recently was a part of a panel at the 2011 Women’s Expo that featured actor Larenz Tate & Pastor Anthony Jackson. Brandon realizes that everything he has is because of God and he doesn’t take for granted the blessings that are in his life. Brandon’s goal as a speaker is to carry his message of how singles can find happiness and how marriage can be a goal for couples who desire it. Brandon has a DVD out entitled “Success in Your Relationship: a look at being single, dating, and marriage” and is currently working on a book entitled “From a Man’s Heart: Becoming the Man Your Woman Desires.”
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