College of Arts and Humanities

Villaver to highlight fall keynote on 50 years of hip-hop


Numerous ebbs and flows have transformed the culture and genre that is hip-hop for 50 years now.

Who better to guide an audience through the period than Clemson University’s first professor on the subject?

Melvin Villaver, an assistant professor of Global Black Studies and Audio Technology/Music, will guide hip-hop heads and curious music fans in a keynote lecture on Monday, November 13, at 5 p.m. in Room 117 at the Brooks Center for Performing Arts.

A native of Southern California, Villaver holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from Purdue University. Villaver has expertise in both Blues Epistemology and music production. He also happens to be one of the newest faces in the College of Arts and Humanities.

“The people here are so welcoming. Clemson students are truly special.”

Melvin Villaver, Assistant Professor of Global Black Studies and Audio Technology/Music

Attendees can expect to receive a thorough accounting of hip-hop’s eras, including its founding by the “Father of Hip-Hop” – DJ Kool Herc – on August 11, 1973, at Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx.

“This year is the halfway point of a centennial of hip-hop – that’s crazy to think about. It’s something that is embedded into human culture,” Villaver said. “A lot of people thought it was a fad and a joke. I’m going to talk about its history, but I’m not going to keep it in New York. Hip-hop has a global presence and is here in South Carolina. My goal is to have this intellectual lecture about this rich history. This is not a genre to me; it’s a culture.”

There will be a question-and-answer session for 15 minutes following the lecture, with a reception and light refreshments afterward.

Hip-Hop’s Evolution through 50 years of Rhymes, Rhythm and Revolution

Doors open at 4:45 p.m. on Monday, November 13, at Room 117 in the Brooks Center for Performing Arts. The keynote lecture begins and will close out with a reception.

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