“The Box That Rocks,” guest curated by Dexter Wimberly at MoCADA (Museum of Contemporary African Diaspora Arts, Brooklyn) celebrates the global influence of Ralph McDaniels’ “Video Music Box” in the rise of hip hop music.
Through film, photography, mixed media, and digital statistical representations, the exhibition explored understandings of hip hop in artistic, popular, corporate, and scientific contexts. The show closed May 28….but check out photos.
THE BOX THAT ROCKS: Amy Andrieux * Malik Y. Cumbo * LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs * Delphine Fawundu * Bobbito Garcia * Tahir Hemphill * Jonathan Mannion * Tim Okamura * M. Tony Peralta * Fab 5 Freddy * Ali Santana * Jamel Shabazz * Daniel Amazu Wasser
Collages by DANIEL AMAZU WASSER reassemble hip hop icons and corporate advertising.
I spy: Jay, Lauryn Hill, Biggie, Lil Wayne.
“I can take a phrase that’s rarely heard, flip it, now it’s a daily word.” – Rakim Allah, “Follow the Leader.” – DELPHINE FAWUNDU’s video installation begins with the question, “What is your most memorable Hip Hop quotable?” in “Word Play: Some Memorable Hip Hop Quotables.”
DELPHINE FAWUNDU captures swagger and raw expression in “African Swag: West African Hip Hop Movement” (Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana). Spot Naeto C (Lagos) at top right from this 2008 portrait.
This young man is an MC from Nima, Accra, Ghana, shot in 2010.
TIM OKAMURA’s brush drips with swag.
The Box Rocks – re-forming and celebrating Ralph McDaniels’s “Video Music Box”
Visitors browse museum literature.
JAMEL SHABAZZ, Selected images from “A Time Before Crack,” presents a series of hip hop poses with pride.
TAHIR HEMPHILL charts the usage of champagne mentions in rap song songs in the piece “Champagne Stains My Silk,” playing with socioeconomic aspirations and the commodification of the American Dream.
HEMPHILL tracks word count, syllable number, and Flesch and SMOG readability scores in 50 Cent and Jay-Z’s careers, to determine the education level needed to understand the lyrics.
M. TONY PERALTA mashes up cassette tapes, wood, and spray paint in a street art-style assemblage of his old hip hop tracks.
The next generation poses before a work that blends aesthetics of mural paintings, traditional portraits, and urban graffiti in a powerful image that suggests the role of women and peace in hip hop.