Berklee’s Africana Studies Division Celebrates 50 Years of Hip-Hop
The Africana Studies Division at Berklee presents the concert 50 Years of Hip-Hop with an all-star lineup of local and national artists taking center stage on Tuesday, November 28, 8:00 p.m., at the Berklee Performance Center.
As part of the celebration, Dr. Emmett G. Price III, dean of the Africana Studies Division, will introduce the inaugural Berklee Hip-Hop Hall of Fame with the induction of trailblazing MC Roxanne Shanté; renowned producer, engineer, and Berklee professor Prince Charles Alexander; and Roxbury native and internationally known hip-hop artist Edo G.
“Berklee is the world’s preeminent institution of contemporary music, dance, and theater; of course we are going to celebrate hip-hop in grand fashion with an unforgettable concert and the launch of the Berklee Hip-Hop Hall of Fame,” said Price. “What a tremendous privilege and a deep honor to have the legend herself, Roxanne Shanté join us for this historic and monumental occasion.”
“With over 35 years in the music industry as a writer, producer, and platinum-selling artist and performer, I can now add accomplished and acknowledged musician because of Berklee,” said Shanté.
The event will be emceed by Amanda Shea, a renowned spoken-word and multidisciplinary artist and educator from Boston, and will feature a performance by Roxbury native and nationally acclaimed hip-hop artist Oompa, who will present a musical tribute to Shanté. The concert will close out with Shanté performing her most famous hit songs.
Students from the College and the Conservatory will honor Prince Charles Alexander and Edo G. with a medley of their songs produced by Danielle “Queen D.” Scott, professor of ensembles, and Mila Thigpen, chair of the Dance Division.
Admission is $12 in advance and $17 on the day of the show. This show will be seated. Tickets are available online.
About Roxanne Shanté
Roxanne Shanté’s rap career was launched at age 14 when she wrote the 1985 track “Roxanne’s Revenge” in response to U.T.F.O.’s classic hit “Roxanne Roxanne.” Her diss track prompted the “Roxanne Wars,” which included more than 86 response records. In 2017, the Sundance Institute selected her biopic, Roxanne Roxanne, to debut at the Sundance Film Festival, and it was picked up by Netflix shortly thereafter. The film starred Chanté Adams as the rapper, with Nia Long portraying her mother, Ms. Peggy, and Mahershala Ali as her boyfriend, Cross. In December 2022, Shanté’s single “Roxanne’s Revenge” was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), with more than a million in sales. The MC, who is also a voiceover artist, is the host of the SiriusXM radio show Have a Nice Day, which airs on LL Cool J’s Rock the Bells Radio. In addition to her musical career, Shanté and her husband run the nonprofit organization Mind Over Matter in Newark, New Jersey.
About Prince Charles Alexander
Prince Charles Alexander is a three-time Grammy Award–winning recording and mixing engineer and one of the most sought-after producers in the history of hip-hop and R&B, with more than 40 platinum and gold certifications from the Recording Industry Association of America. He has worked with some of the biggest names in music, from Mary J. Blige, P. Diddy, and Usher to Boyz II Men, Sting, Aretha Franklin, and many others. He also added author to his repertoire with the recent release of his book Inside the Beats, an educational and instructive dive into the technological evolution of hip-hop, from its origins in the Bronx to its many modern iterations across the world.
About Edo G.
Edward Anderson, known by the stage names Edo G. and Ed O.G., began his career in the late 1980s at age 15 under the name of Edo Rock in a crew called F.T.I. (Fresh to Impress). The group's song “Suzi Q'' was featured on the 1986 compilation Boston Goes Def! In 1989, with the help of the legendary New York duo Awesome 2 (Teddy Ted and Special K), he formed Ed O.G. and Da Bulldogs. Two years later, he released his debut studio album with his group Da Bulldogs, Life of a Kid in the Ghetto, which peaked at number 166 on the Billboard 200 and number 21 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The album included three hit singles, “Bug-a-Boo,” “Be a Father to Your Child,” and “I Got to Have It.” In a career spanning 30 years, he has released four albums and two EPs as a solo artist, toured around the world, and has collaborated with contemporary hitmakers Pete Rock, DJ Premier, RZA, KRS-One, Common, Black Thought of the Roots, and Masta Ace.