Independent artist Cormega speaks to hip-hop class
Independent hip-hop recording artist Cormega gave a two-hour tutorial on the recording industry and hip-hop culture during a guest lecture in Will Boone’s African-American Studies 378 course on Jan. 18.
Cormega’s standing-room-only talk focused on everything from illegal music downloading to his influences to his decision to be an independent artist.
“I’m honored hip-hop is even being taught in a room like this,” Cormega, fresh from another speaking engagement at Howard University, said from the head of the class in Tuttleman Learning Center. “I have people who e-mail me and tell me they downloaded my music and they love it. That’s like robbing my house and telling me my color TV is excellent.”
Cormega listed Marvin Gaye, John Lennon and Bob Marley as his biggest influences.
“They had messages and they still could sing. Hip-hop isn’t being respected as a voice. We’ve got to resuscitate people who gave birth to this.”
Originally signed with the recording company Violator/Def Jam, Cormega founded his own label, Legal Hustle Records, in 2000.
“If you’re trying to prosper, indie is a good route. You get what you put in. It’s not a glamorous life. It’s hard work.”
Boone, a fourth-year doctoral student in African-American studies, has taught the three-credit “Hip-Hop and Black Culture” course for two years.
“We talk a lot in our class about cultivating the culture,” said Boone, whose dissertation will focus on the development of the hip-hop aesthetic. “Hip-hop is one of those topics you can’t teach just out of a book.”
- Barbara Baals