According to American rapper Nasir Jones, hip-hop died about a decade ago. However, several Florida A&M University graduates have banned together to keep the art form alive.
Curators of Hip Hop (COOH), a collective movement dedicated to preserving hip-hop culture, will be hosting its first-ever Legacy Tour, which will visit nine cities between Feb. 19 and April 9.
The tour features emerging and up-and-coming musicians, tech specialist and filmmakers, which will address themes such as entrepreneurship and social activism in hip-hop.
Jermaine Fletcher, co-founder of COHH, shares his vision for the campaign.
"We're expecting to take greater steps toward building leadership on issues of social activism, hip-hop and independence for our tours in 2016,” Fletcher said.
Although COHH have been touring independently for the last three years, this will be the collective’s first collaborative effort. Amtrak and several other organizations have teamed up to sponsor this year’s tour.
The tour will host panels covering a wide-range of issues facing America, such as the importance of developing non-dependent hip hop institutions, business and technology, civil rights and gentrification across the U.S.
Each panel will feature leading artists, activists and media industry experts from around the country.
The Legacy Tour will kick off Friday, Feb. 19, with a film screening and panel at Florida State University’s Student Life Cinema theatre at 7 p.m.. There will also be a concert on Saturday, Feb. 20 at 9:30 p.m. at Club Downunder.
The doors are expected to open at 8:30 p.m. Both events are free to all FSU, FAMU, and Tallahassee Community College students.
Grammy nominated artist, Carolyn Malachi and New York native, Dynasty will be headlining the concert alongside world-renowned keyboardist, James McKinney.
Malachi, a product of Washington DC’s vibrant music scene, has garnered international attention for her work being named an R&B artist, “to obsess over” by MTV, as well as making NPR’s 10 songs Public Radio Can’t Stop Playing list. She expresses her enthusiasm for performing and connecting with her audience.
"People don't just want to be entertained,” Malachi said. “They want to be empowered. The Legacy Tour is an environment where I can do both."
COHH co-founder and Tallahassee native Jimmie Thomas shares his excitement about the networking opportunities the tour provides.
“I’m looking forward to building bridges between like-minded artists and people who love the culture of hip hop,” Thomas said.
The next stop on the tour will be on Feb. 26 at Howard University in Washington D.C.
For more information on the tour or COOH, visit their website at thecohh.com.