Join Intelligence Squared for the first ever global debate on hip-hop. Is hip-hop the authentic voice of the oppressed that turns anger into poetry and political action? Or is it a glorification of all that holds back oppressed minorities and hinders them from mainstream assimilation?
In the third of our Versus series of debates with Google we’re bringing together some of the biggest names in hip-hop to debate these questions. Some of the speakers will be on stage at the Barbican Centre and others will be appearing on the big screen via the Google+ Hangout technology. We have rappers such as KRS-One, ?uestlove, Q-Tip and Estelle, and renowned US hip-hop intellectuals such as Touré, Michael Eric Dyson, Tricia Rose and dream hampton. We’re bringing over civil rights campaigner Jesse Jackson, once a critic and now in the hip-hop camp.
Hip-hop and all it stands for has moved well beyond its black American roots. We’ll also be hearing from John Sutherland, Victorian fiction expert, who is a hip-hop aficionado, and we’re bringing over the Egyptian rapper Deeb who was involved in the Tahrir Square uprising and thinks hip-hop has fostered revolution in North Africa.
Also flying in for an exclusive London appearance will be Jaron Lanier, computer scientist, virtual reality pioneer, composer and one of TIME’s 100 most influential people of 2010; and there’ll be critical voices from Shaun Bailey, David Cameron’s adviser on youth and crime, and Hattie Collins, music editor of i-D magazine.
In our new quick-fire courtroom format, there’ll be two brilliant advocates grilling our panel of hip-hop fans and critics and building a case either for or against the motion. Hip-hop is a state of mind, an attitude of defiance that has been adopted by the oppressed all over the world. But does it help or hinder society? On June 26th our audience will decide. So have your say – come to the Barbican or watch live on YouTube and vote online.
Emily MaitlisBBC Newsnight presenter
Jemima KhanBritish writer and campaigner, associate editor of the New Statesman and European editor-at-large for Vanity Fair
Advocate for the motion
Eamon CourtenayAttorney at Courtenay Coye law firm in Belize
Advocate against the motion
Michael Eric DysonHip-hop intellectual and professor of sociology at Georgetown University
Shaun BaileySpecial adviser to the Prime Minister’s office on youth, crime and welfare issues
DeebEgyptian “Arab Spring” rapper
Estelle (via Google+ Hangout)Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter
dream hamptonAmerican hip-hop journalist, cultural critic and film-maker
Jesse JacksonCivil rights activist, Baptist minister and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition
KRS-OneHip-hop pioneer, record producer and activist
Jaron LanierAmerican computer scientist, virtual reality pioneer and musician
James PetersonDirector of Africana Studies and Associate Professor of English at Lehigh University and founder of Hip Hop Scholars LLC
P. J. O’Rourke (via Google+ Hangout)American political satirist and author
Q-Tip (via Google+ Hangout)American rapper, producer and frontman of iconic hip-hop act A Tribe Called Quest
?uestlove (via Google+ Hangout)Co-founder of Grammy Award winning band The Roots, DJ, music journalist and producer
Tricia RoseBrown University Professor and author of the groundbreaking books on hip-hop: Black Noise and The Hip Hop Wars
Tony SewellCEO of the charity Generating Genius
Slaughterhouse (via Google+ Hangout)Rap supergroup made up of Joe Budden, Crooked I, Joel Ortiz, and Royce Da 5’9
John SutherlandEmeritus Professor of Modern English Literature at University College London
Isiah Thomas (via Google+ Hangout)Former top 50 NBA basketball player and Chairman and CEO of Isiah International
Touré (via Google+ Hangout)American TV presenter, novelist, journalist and cultural critic
Jason WhitlockColumnist for Foxsports.com
Benjamin ZephaniahDub poet and musician