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30 Yrs of Howard University's Hip Hop Conference

Source: Akila Work Songs / Akila Work Songs

The only thing as important as Hip Hop’s current stars is its past.

And Howard University is making sure that its hip hop conference is getting its proper due while celebrating its 30th anniversary. The early 90s is often referred to as the golden era of hip hop, and February 21 – 23, 1991 was the first time the HBCU honored the newly popular music founded in the Bronx, New York.

The conference allowed students to learn about the art from all aspects, thanks to everyone from artists, industry executives to local students gathering in honor of the bubbling genre. Students didn’t think it’d be more than a one-time event, but the culture proved influential, and it lasted an additional five years.

Now, Howard’s Power Moves  –a conglomerate of artists at the university– wants to honor that initial conference and student leaders who organized it and inspire current and future students to also put on for the culture.

“The Hip Hop Conference was one of the highlights of being a student … at HU back then, and now 30 years since its inception it felt right to help tell the story on how it began along with the lasting impact it had,” Lance Williams, Managing Partner at Power Move said. “If learning about this history can have a positive influence on even one person in 2021 the way it did for many of us back then, then we did our job.”

To celebrate the 30-year anniversary of the inaugural event, HU is hosting 5 panels on February 20 and 21 on the subject of hip hop’s history, the marketing behind it, and cultivating the culture. One panel, entitled The Funky Revelation: The Evolution of the Hip-Hop Business Model, will even be moderated by Young Guru, who is arguably hip hop’s most famous engineer because of all the collaborating he’s done with Jay-Z.

The Grammy-winning engineer is also a Howard alum and credits the movement with jumpstarting his career, saying, “Above everything The Cultural Initiative introduced me, first-hand, to the music business. They afforded me the opportunities and tools to start my musical journey.”

The panels and DJ sets kick off tomorrow, February 20, and all are welcome to watch the free events on Power Move TV’s site.