Shea Rose Presents Berklee's First Hip-Hop Compilation, The Identity Project

Rose, a singer, songwriter, and Berklee assistant professor, draws from two major themes in hip-hop for the project, which features 15 current and former students.

September 27, 2021

Shea Rose, a singer, songwriter, artist, Berklee assistant professor, and recipient of the 2020 Newbury Comics Faculty Fellowship, will present a historic hip-hop compilation in collaboration with 15 of her former students this fall. The Identity Project: Vol 1 is a sonic time capsule: a living, breathing record of music created during one of the most challenging times of this generation.

Drawing from two major themes in hip-hop music—identity and origin story—the songs feature the voices and skills of talented Berklee artists and producers using music to guide them through unprecedented moments in recent history, such as the Black Lives Matter movement and the COVID-19 pandemic. All Berklee artists featured on the compilation are students or recent alumni who have completed the Contemporary Writing and Production Department's hip-hop course taught by Rose.

Photo of Shea Rose

Shea Rose

Image by Jen Vesp

Curated by Rose with the support of professional music industry mentors, including International Show, Buffalo Lemur, the Daydream Sound, and Simone Scazzocchio, the forthcoming release will be available on streaming platforms on Tuesday, October 26. Berklee will host a community-wide concert of live music from the project at David Friend Recital Hall on Thursday, September 30, at 7:30 p.m., featuring artist, producer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist International Show as a special guest. For those interested in viewing the concert outside of Berklee, the event will be available via livestream.

“This compilation has been a tremendous result of a challenging and difficult time in the world,” said Rose. “I am so proud of the students, producers, professional mentors, and all involved who have come together to create such a powerful work of art. It was an absolute honor to use the Newbury Comics Faculty Fellowship as a platform to record, produce, and publish this meaningful compilation.”

The Identity Project: Vol 1 is made possible by Berklee's Office of Faculty Development and by the 2020 Newbury Comics Faculty Fellowship. Created through the generosity of Mike and Laura Dreese, the fellowship is an endowed grant that supports Berklee faculty members in designing creative and innovative approaches to fostering student engagement and learning. Additional information on The Identity Project is available on the project’s official website.

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