2008: Panelists and Performers
Su’ad Abdul Khabeer, Princeton University
Su’ad Abdul Khabeer is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Princeton University. Su’ad’s dissertation research explores how Chicago’s Muslim youth negotiate their religious, racial and cultural identities through hip hop. While in Chicago Su’ad has worked with the community organization, the Inner-city Muslim Action Network (IMAN), as the Event Coordinator for their biennial community festival “Takin’ it to the Streets 2007.” This year the festival drew 10,000 people from across Chicagoland and featured hip hop artists such as Lupe Fiasco and the Rock Steady Crew. A Brooklyn native, Su’ad’s other interests include the African Diaspora, Latinidad, writing and dance and have most recently taken her to Puerto Rico and Morocco. Su’ad has spoken and presented papers at various conferences and universities across the country. Her publications include “Rep that Islam: the Rhyme and Reason of American Muslim Hip Hop” in the January 2007 issue of The Muslim World, and “Black Arabic: African American Muslims and the Arabic language” (article forthcoming). Su’ad is also a poet whose work appears in the anthology Living Islam Out Loud: American Muslim Women Speak.
Melisa Riveré, University of Minnesota
Melisa Rivière is a Latina hip-hop audio-visual/event producer, scholar, activist and talent manager whose work spans from the Twin Cities to Cuba and Puerto Rico. Melisa is currently a MacArthur Scholar Ph.D. candidate in the Anthropology Department at the University of Minnesota completing her research on the global diffusion of the four elements of hip-hop, with a particular fieldwork focus in the Caribbean. She has worked with In The House Magazine, Songo Sounds, Time Machine Squad, and The Lab Studios in Puerto Rico as well as The Cuban Agency for Rap, La Fabri K and the Hermanos Saíz Association in Cuba. Her work on either island includes documenting hip-hop conferences, festivals, and live performances, leading keynote talks and pedagogical workshops as well as producing audio recordings and music video clips with Anónimo Consejo, Tego Calderón, Doble Filo, Los Aldeanos, SieteNueve, Intifada, and Obsesión amongst others. Currently Melisa simultaneously teaches courses in Anthropology and Global Studies at the University of Minnesota and Hamline in the Twin Cities; forms part of the co-founding directorship of ‘B-Girl Be: A Celebration of Women in Hip-Hop’ in its fourth year at Intermedia Arts; and serves as the CEO of Emetrece Productions, an audio-visual production and artist management company that focuses on ‘edu-tainment’ making education entertaining and entertainment educational with rising hip-hop and reggaetón artist Maria Isa.
Maria McMath, Haverford College
Matt Moerdock, Artist
Matt Moerdock is the perfect combination of Street Knowledge and HipHop culture in their purest forms. With the release of his solo debut album in 2005, «D’Art de Ville», Matt Moerdock became one of the most respected emcees in the “real” French HipHop scene. His music is original, his rhymes are tight, and he brings a HipHop philosophy. Back in the studio to record his 2nd album, Matt Moerdock wants the best sound to export his music. 10 producers (Joks, Michebome 494, DJ Willy Wizz, Mo G, Hocine, Durmus, Indi K, Jotta Jotta, DJ Seth, Thomas, DJ Subtil), 15 musicians from the Czech Republic Philarmonic Orchestra, 10 musicians French artists ( Linda, Flavien, Hughues, Stap, Antony, Momo, Patrice), 3 Djs, and songs recorded in 3 countries (France, Czech Republic, Spain)–comprise a new vision of HipHop, what Matt Moerdock is cooking in his “Hell’s Kitchen.” The message is still positive, and Matt Moerdock is still focused on giving a true and postive image of what HipHop is. This time he is about to take us to a higher level. A mix of Science, Street Knowledge, Religion and Mathematics forthcoming in 2008.
DJ Rehka, Artist
DJ Rekha is an eclectic DJ, producer, curator and founder of Basement Bhangra™. She was named “Ambassador of Bhangra” by the New York Times as well as “one of the most influential South Asians in the United States” by Newsweek. She was the Sound Designer for the OBIE winning Broadway Show, “Bridge and Tunnel.” Rekha was the Associate Producer for the NPR Radio Documentary, “A Feet in Two Worlds”. Her debut album, “DJ Rekha presents Basement Bhangra” is on Koch Records. She has curated shows for Central Park Summerstage, Creative Time, and Celebrate Brooklyn. Her company, Sangament, Inc provides music consulting services and produces live events.