If you have been involved in the city’s Hip Hop scene at any time since the 1980s, then the Southampton Hip Hop Heritage project ( www.southamptonhiphopheritage.com ) needs to hear from you.
A new project launches this week to capture Southampton’s Hip Hop culture.
The call is going out for people to contribute their stories and photos to build a picture of this important, but largely unrecognised, thread of the city’s recent history.
With the music at its core, the scene embraced, breakdancing, fashion, and street art. To kick off the archive, on 30th and 31st March two on-line panels of local MCs, Breakers and Graffiti writers will talk about the emergence of the Southampton scene and its continuing influence up to the present day.
In April there will also be an online discussion between leading Southampton practitioners and those involved in the Hip Hop scene in Boston USA, to create a new dialogue and a greater understanding of our shared cultural heritage.
Free access to both events is by registering for details on the website.
From the street corner to the world stage, over the past forty years Hip Hop has grown into one of the world’s most prominent musical genres and distinctive artforms.
Tony Gumm says: “In Southampton, Hip Hop has largely been an underground culture - it grew out of teenagers in schools and youth clubs becoming ‘breakers’ and graffiti artists, and then MCs and producers. It brought together young people from both sides the city, and Southampton became a centre of Hip Hop culture in the South. It’s the platform for what so many young artists in the city are doing today. If we are talking about Southampton as a City of Culture, it’s important to explore our Hip Hop scene.”
Mark James: “This is the first time it’s being documented as a single resource and we have a chance to celebrate an under appreciated part of that story, and the communities and the context. This project will rediscover the foundations which underpin the thriving music scenes in Southampton right now and we’re really interested in hearing more from those leading hip hop forward today, just as much as the originators who paved the way before them. We want people to come forward and share. We are looking for sounds, stories, videos, pictures and memorabilia. As well as our on-line archive, we hope to produce an exhibition, some live events and filmed documentary later on”
This project was funded by a Mayflower 400 community heritage grant as part of the city-wide Mayflower 400 programme. The anniversary year seeks to celebrate Southampton, a city and a community, built on journeys and migration, whilst increasing access to and engagement in culture.
To find out more, visit www.southamptonhiphopheritage.com