Blair HipHop History and Culture class hosts guest speaker discussion

May 19, 2024, 3:06 p.m. | By Mooti Chimdi | 1 month ago

Tim Jones spoke to HipHop History and Culture students about his experience with HipHop

On Friday May 5, Timothy Jones came to Blair's HipHop History and Culture class taught by Kenneth Smith to speak about his thoughts on different HipHop topics. Jones currently works as the Chief Visionary Officer for HipHopEd and the founder of an education consulting company called Techniques for Learning. The talk began with a question and answer with current and previous students of the class and the first topic of the Q&A was white people’s impact in HipHop. Smith spoke about how counternarratives were built within different genres of music. Counternarratives within music typically refers to new messages or genres that resist generally accepted ones. For example, Jones said HipHop was a counternarrative of disco and PunkRock was a counternarrative to Rock. 

Having grown up in Brooklyn during his childhood, Jones had a front-row experience to HipHop’s rise and was an avid concert goer. Although his location influenced his view of HipHop he described it as a part of his life outside of the house since his family grew up in the church. Also, his view on HipHop had a major switch when he raised his son. In particular, introducing HipHop to his son was something he prioritized as he would start to play instrumental beats of iconic songs before he played the lyrics. 

After a five-minute intermission, Smith opened the class to share any songs they've made. Kieran Allen-Hadley (also known as K$ the Kid) went first to play his song “Lift Our Hands.” Jones applauded Allen-Hadley for his uplifting throwback style rhythm and meaningful lyrics. 

“I could tell that you pay attention to the lines that you write and the beat to me was kind of a throwback,” Jones said. 

Jones then shared his views on artists using samples of their songs and described how he appreciates when sampling is used with meaning and excellence. “I love the historical aesthetic in sampling and when it's done in an amazing way,” Jones said. Toward the end of the meeting two more students played their songs and the class ended with a rhyme-filled freestyle from Jones.

First offered in 2019 at Blair, the HipHop History and Culture course has been making its way through MCPS and is now available at Rockville and Bethesda Chevy Chase High Schools.

Last updated: May 19, 2024, 3:07 p.m.

Tags: HipHop

Mooti Chimdi. Hi I'm Mooti (he/him). Besides writing for SCO, I like to eat and run. More »

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