Not many people would immediately connect the term Hip Hop artist with Ivy League school, but that's exactly what Upstate New York's Cornell University had in mind when they named music pioneer Afrika Bambaataa as a visiting scholar for the next three years.
Considered by many to be the "Godfather" of Hip Hop, Afrika Bambaataa (whose real name is Kevin Donovan) forever changed music when his 1982 single "Planet Rock" was released. At the time, a new sound was beginning to emerge which he quickly found himself at the forefront of. The song has been sampled by everyone from Paul Oakenfold to Ice Cube and even now, thirty years later, you can still hear it played in clubs everywhere.
Although he already has a history of doing lectures and performances at the campus, this will mark the first time ever for a Hip Hop artist to take on such a position at a major University. “Who better than the man who named hip-hop?” says Ben Ortiz, the assistant curator of the Hip Hop Collection at Cornell University (an archive that boasts the largest collection of Flyers, Recordings, Phototographs and other Hip Hop memoribilia).
Commonly believed to trace its roots to a House Party on April 11th 1973 at 1530 Sedgwick avenue in the South Bronx, Hip Hop's 40th anniversary (mind: blown) in 2013 will coincide with the historic announcement made last Tuesday. Scheduled for April of that year, his second lecture will commemorate the event with an exhibition featuring classic album covers, old graffiti zines, photographs and more.
Hey maybe it really is true what they say- it's never too late to go back to school!