Hip Hop educators Martha Diaz, Rahman Jamaal and Scetch joined SlavConf Reinforcement for the closing segment of the agenda on 29 October. The Secret Hip Hop Panel was revealed shortly before the event and discussed the current problems of the creative education, the possibilities for a career in the hip hop industry, the necessity for community building and the freedom of speech.
As education was one of the main topics of the event, the last discussion was a confirmative statement of all the issues discussed by representatives of the various creative fields during the two days. The entertainment expert Scetch, who has developed several organisations aiming to support students’ music talent, has expressed concern for the lack of opportunities and the gaps in the educational system when it comes to the creative fields: “I realised growing up in Los Angeles there were no music and arts education programs opportunities for students. If you didn’t play sports, then a lot of times you would be limited into which your after school options were. So my goal was to build a bridge between students who were interested in creative careers and the actual entertainment industry. In Los Angeles it is the music, media and entertainment capital of the world yet there were no programs for students to get into the entertainment industry. So I founded two organisations to help resolve that. One is MUSIC to the ears Foundation and the other is Academix Beat Lab.”
Having been in the industry for decades, Martha Diaz spoke about the mechanisms artists need to explore to make it on the American market and increase their chances for awareness and funding. According to her life-long research on the hip hop timeline, she distinguishes certain pillars that have turned the genre into a treasure for human history recapturing significant events and cultural traits. As we are approaching the 50th anniversary of hip hop, it is now a globally recognised industry that has impacted society. Regardless, according to Diaz, none of this would be possible unless society acknowledges the need for investment in order for artists and industry professionals to keep doing their job: “What has happened this year is that the United States government has actually acknowledged hip hop culture as a culture worthy of being funded, of being celebrated and so the federal government congressman had a proclamation to declare 11 August as Hip Hop Day and the month of November as Hip Hop History Month. We have celebrated it since forever, years, decades now, but for us to have the government make that proclamation saying that we matter, that we are a national treasure, real art and culture, it means that there is going to be funding that is going to be allocated to some of the events and educational activities that we are developing.”
Along with problems of curriculum adaptation, time management and lack of resources, the progress of digital tools has also been disclosed as being a two-sided matter for the purposes of the industry, especially the educational processes. According to Rahman Jamaal: “We have to make sure that our technology always serves the culture first and not the other way around. We are up against massive amounts of money and investing into technology, but if it gets away from the culture, if it gets away from the people, if it’s not helping us solve our fundamental problems, then we are missing a huge part of why we are supposed to develop our technology.”
The topic of problems creatives are experiencing with technology was reoccurring during every segment of SlavConf Reinforcement. The sixth edition of the conference – SlavConf Virtuality will continue the discussion and focus on the omnipresent issue of the lack of communication and the gaps between the IT industry and the creative industry globally.
SlavConf Virtuality will be held on 28 and 29 October online. You can register here.
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SlavConf Virtuality will be held at Marketplace in virtual format on 28th and 29th of October. This year we are focusing on technology and business ethics. You can register for free: marketplace.slavconf.com
SlavConf is an annual international conference for creative industry and pop culture