Total Chaos - The Art and Aesthetics of Hip-Hop

Marc Bamuthi Joseph in "Word Becomes Flesh". Photo by Gabriella Marks.


Nazli Abrahams is a student at the University of Cape Town, and a hip-hop teacher in South Africa.

Cey Adams was a 1980s subway graffiti artist, a co-founder of The Drawing Board, and art-director for large chunks of the Def Jam and Bad Boy catalog, "The Chappelle Show", and countless hip-hop campaigns.

Bill Adler has been a critic, publicist, biographer, archivist, museum consultant, curator, and documentarian. He founded the Eyejammie Fine Arts Gallery.

Alien Ness is an internationally reknowned b-boy and Zulu King, and has been a member of both the New York City Breakers and the Rock Steady Crew.

Harry Allen coined the term "hip-hop activist" and was "media assassin" for the fabled Long Island crew, Public Enemy.

Shaheen Ariefdien is a former member of the pioneering South African hip-hop group, Prophets of da City, and a teacher.

Eric Arnold has been the former Editorial Director of now-defunct 4080 Magazine, and a columnist for The Source, Murder Dog,, and the East Bay Express. He is currently writing a history of Bay area hip-hop.

B+ is a hip-hop photographer, filmmaker and author. He wrote It’s Not About A Salary: Rap Race + Resistance in Los Angeles and produced and directed the acclaimed hip-hop movies "Keepintime" and "Brasilintime."

Traci Bartlow is a dancer, choreographer, photographer and poet from East Oakland, who runs the company, Star Child Entertainment.

Janette Beckman is a British-born, New York-based photographer who has captured many of the most important punk and hip-hop artists of the 70s and 80s.

Sanford Biggers has exhibited his sculptures and installations at the Berkeley Art Museum, the Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati, and the Contemporary Art Museum in Houston.

Raquel Cepeda edited the award-winning And It Don't Stop: The Best American Hip-Hop Journalism of the Last 25 Years, and is an accomplished filmmaker. Her new movie, "Bling", airs this February on VH1.<

Staceyann Chin has been an out poet and political agitator. She performed in the Tony-Award winning Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam on Broadway.

Joe Conzo was born in the Bronx, and shot countless indelible images of the early heroes of hip-hop culture between 1978 and 1983.

Brett Cook-Dizney is a communitarian-minded visual artist, whose work will be featured in the National Portrait Gallery this spring.

Kevin Coval is a poet and the author of Slingshots (A Hip-Hop Poetica).

Eisa Davis is a playwright, actress, and singer/songwriter. Her plays include "Bulrusher," "Hip Hop Anansi," "Paper Armor," "The History of Light," "Umkovu," "Angela’s Mixtape," and "Six Minutes."

Kevin Epps is a filmmaker who launched the ghetto verité movement with 2001’s "Straight Outta Hunters Point." He co-founded the Hip-Hop Film Festival and has two new films, "Rap Dreams," and "Black Rock," a look at the African-American experience on Alcatraz.

Kamilah Forbes is the Artistic Director of the New York Hip-Hop Theatre Festival, founder of DC-based Hip Hop Theater Junction, and has been a co-producer for HBO Def Poetry Jam and assistant director to the Tony Award winning Broadway tour of Def Poetry.

Glen E. Friedman shot many of the most iconic photos of Public Enemy, Run DNC, LL Cool J, Ice T, Fugazi, and the skateboarding mavericks, the Z-Boys of Dogtown.

Father Amde Hamilton of the Watts Prophets is a member of the Watts Prophets. His works are collected in the book Me Today You Tomorrow: Journey Of A Street Poet and the album Things Gonna Get Greater: The Watts Prophets, 1969-1971.

Rennie Harris is an one of the most celebrated hip-hop choreographers, and has taken hip-hop dance into concert dance with the Bessie Award winning "Rome and Jewels" and "Facing Mekka". He is the founder of the Legends of Hip-Hop Festival and touring show.

Luis Gispert has had solo exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria, the Berkeley Art Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami.

Jeffrey DOZE Green is one of the most compelling artists to emerge from the old school. He has been a b-boy with the Rock Steady Crew, a graf writer with TC5, and has become a highly influential visual artist.

Suheir Hammad is a poet, an activist, and the author of Born Palestinian, Born Black, Drops of This Story, and Zaatar Diva.

Danny Hoch is an actor, playwright and director whose plays "Pot Melting," "Some People," "Jails, Hospitals, Hip-Hop," and "Till The Break Of Dawn" have toured the world and garnered numerous awards. He is the founder of the Hip-Hop Theater Festival and directed Will Power's "Flow."

Walidah Imarisha is a filmmaker, journalist, and poet. She has edited AWOL Magazine, and Another World is Possible.

JAAS is a Chilean woman hip-hop artist who raps in both Spanish and Mapudungun, the language of the indigenous Mapuche.

Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi is a filmmaker, whose feature documentaries "Inventos Hip-Hop Cubano" and "Homegrown: Hip-Life In Ghana" explore the roots and themes of hip-hop movements in the African diaspora.

Sacha Jenkins is a co-founder of ego trip magazine, edits Mass Appeal magazine, and is a painter and graf writer.

Marc Bamuthi Joseph is former National Poetry Slam champion, featured artist on Russell Simmons' Def Poetry on HBO and an acclaimed hip-hop theatre artist.

Juba Kalamka is a rapper, producer, curator, and speaker. He is the founder of Sugartruck Recordings and a member of Deep Dickollective.

Robert Karimi is an award-winning interdisciplinary artist/activist who has been featured on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, and at Artspace, Galeria de la Raza, Yerba Buena Arts Center, La Peña Cultural Center, and the Smithsonian Institute.

Litefoot is the premier Native American rap artist. He founded Red Vinyl Records, helms Native Style Entertainment and Clothing, and visits hundreds of Reservations each year with his Reach The Rez tour.

Adam Mansbach is the author of the novels The End of The Jews (Spiegel & Grau/Doubleday), Angry Black White Boy (Crown), and Shackling Water (Doubleday).

Paul D. Miller is a writer, artist and musician probably best known under the moniker of his "constructed persona” as “DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid".

Joan Morgan is an award-winning journalist and writer, whose book When Chickenheads Come Home To Roost is a founding text of hip-hop feminism.

Mark Anthony Neal is Associate Professor of Black Popular Culture in the program of African and African American Studies at Duke University. His books include What The Music Said, Soul Babies, New Black Man, and he co-edited That’s The Joint: The Hip-Hop Studies Reader.

Jorge POPMASTER FABEL Pabon is a pioneering hip-hop dancer, the Senior Vice President of the Rock Steady Crew, co-founder of Tools of War, and co-founder of GhettOriginal Productions, Inc.

Vijay Prashad is the director of international studies at Trinity College, a leading thinker around questions of polyculturalism, and the award-winning author of Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting, The Karma of Brown Folk, and Fat Cats and Running Dogs.

Mohammed Yunus Rafiq is a poet, producer, and a member of Tanzania’s Maasai Hip-Hop collective and the internationally renown group X-Plastaz.

Rachel Raimist is a mother, a scholar, a activist, and the producer and director of the award-winning documentary "Nobody Knows My Name in 1999", and co-editor of the forthcoming anthology, HomeGirls Make Some Noise! A Hip-Hop Feminist Studies Reader.

Javier Reyes is a Black Puerto Rican actor, writer, activist and entrepreneur from San Francisco who co-founded and is Artistic Director of Colored Ink.

Rha Goddess is a performing artist and social/political activist. She is currently the Founder/Vision Keeper for The Next Wave of Women & Power/We Got Issues, and she co-edited the We Got Issues! anthology.

Nadine Robinson has had solo exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia and the Studio Museum in Harlem. She was a recipient of the 2003 William H. Johnson Prize.

Brent Rollins is a celebrated hip-hop designer and a member of the ego trip collective.

Jackie Salloum is a Palestinian/Syrian American artist and filmmaker, whose acclaimed feature documentary, Slingshot Hip-Hop, covers the emerging hip-hop scene in Palestine.

Grant Leigh Saunders is Koori, of the Aboriginal people of Australia. His documentary “B.L.A.C.K: An Aboriginal Song of Hip-Hop” explores the history and impact of hip-hop among Indigenous Australians.

Danyel Smith is editor-in-chief of Vibe and Vibe Vixen and the author of More Like Wrestling, and Bliss.

Joe Schloss is a practicing b-boy, professor of ethnomusicology at Tufts University, and the author of the award-winning Making Beats: The Art of Sample-Based Hip-Hop (Wesleyan University Press, 2004).

Joël Barraquiel Tan is a poet and the director of community engagement at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.

Greg Tate is one of the most celebrated Black cultural critics and a pioneering hip-hop journalist. He authored the classic Flyboy in The Buttermilk, edited Everything But The Burden and is the musical director for the fifteen member conducted improvisational ensemble Burnt Sugar.

Darryl DLT Thompson is a pioneering Maori DJ, b-boy, MC and graffiti artist in Aotearoa/New Zealand and a founding member of Upper Hutt Posse.

Dave Tompkins is a hip-hop journalist, and the author of I Have No Vocoder And I Must Scream.

Roberta Uno was the founding Artistic Director of the New WORLD Theater, and the Martin Luther King Jr./Cesar Chávez/Rosa Parks Visiting Professor at University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. She is the Program Officer for Arts and Culture at the Ford Foundation in New York City.

Cristina Verán is an international journalist, historian and educator who has extensively documented global cultural phenomena and socio-political movements, and has been a proud member of TC5 and Rock Steady Crew.

Oliver Wang is an assistant professor of sociology at Long Beach State, a music journalist, and curator of the renown MP3 blog,

Michael Wanguhu is a Kenyan native and the director of the award-winning 2005 documentary "Hip Hop Colony," which has thrust him into the upper echelon of promising young African film directors.

Tim'm T. West is a poet, journalist, scholar, educator, coach, and rapper. Author of an acclaimed poetic memoir, Red Dirt Revival, he is a member of Deep Dickollective.

Lydia Yee is Senior Curator at the Barbican Art Gallery, London, and the former Senior Curator at The Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York City.

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