Digging in the Crates explores hip hop and gender

A male and female student stand beside each other, engaging in conversation ; female is holding a microphoneWith a blend of presentations, listening sessions, and creative engagement, the upcoming Digging in the Crates: Hip Hop Studies at Virginia Tech event will examine how issues of gender manifest in hip hop culture.  On Thursday, April 19 at 6:30 p.m. in Newman Library, multipurpose room, hip hop scholars Blair Ebony Smith and Kyesha Jennings will share their work and perspectives on the topic of gender and hip hop.


“Misogyny and sexism via both lyrics and behavior from men in hip hop is still embedded deeply in the culture, which makes this conversation important,” said Jennings. “Furthermore, women in hip hop, in many ways, are still being placed in a box and doors have yet to be opened for multiple women to succeed at the same time on a mainstream platform,” added Jennings.



Smith, a hip hop artist in the girl-band We Levitate and organizer of the collective Saving Our Lives Hear Our Truths (SOLHOT), said,“we understand the importance of a creative and collective analysis of gender and hip hop that values the ways hip hop is created and lived by black girls.”


“Gender and hip hop in hip hop studies inform creative theory and organization practices that acknowledges hip hop feminists working as artists, scholars, and organizers to generate unifying conversations and collective world-making where lived experiences and creative production from women and girls are equally honored and respected,” added Smith.


For more than a year, the Digging in the Crates series has invited the community to critically and academically engage in hip hop music, pedagogy, and creation, and has explored inclusion through new lenses.


The series is sponsored by Students of Hip Hop Legacy (SOHHL), VT Breaking Club, VT Expressions, WUVT 90.7 FM, African Studies Program, Black Cultural Center, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Office of Undergraduate Affairs, Diggs Professorship in the Humanities, University Libraries, Residential College at West Ambler Johnston, Smith Professorship in Black Studies, University Libraries Diversity Council, VT Women’s Center, The Women & Minority Artists & Scholars Lecture Scholarship.