Film Selection: How Hip Hop Changed the World
Idris Elba reveals the defining moments in street music and culture over the last 35 years, featuring rare archive material, seminal music videos and insight from hip hop stars
Brought to you by Regent Park Film Festival - http://regentparkfilmfestival.com/
Panelists - PDF Version Here
Itah Sadu (Moderator) - @ADFRNTBooklist
Itah Sadu is a distinguished storyteller and children's author. She has worked as a social worker, community developer, entrepreneur and educator in Toronto. She is the co-owner of A Different Booklist, one of the few independent bookstores left in Toronto with a focus on finding literary gems that reflect Toronto’s diversity. In 2004, Itah Sadu was honoured with the Marilyn Lastman Award at the Toronto Arts Council Foundation Awards.
Her love for storytelling has taken her into the schools where she has developed stories of our time that have a special appeal for children. In the last few years her stories, which deal with cross-cultural awareness and race relations are being put into print so that even more children can enjoy and learn from them. She has authored many award winning children’s books including: How The Coconut Got Its Face, Name Calling, Christopher Please Clean Up Your Room, and Christopher Changes His Name.
DJ Lil Jaz - @eljayii
Jasper Gahunia is a DJ, producer, songwriter, musician, and teacher. He began his ground-breaking musical career as a specialized DJ (turntablist), competing in Toronto-area DMC competitions in the mid-1990s, winning the Toronto DMC DJ competition title three times, and becoming the Canadian DMC Champion in 1998. During this competitive run, he also shared the International Turntablist Federation (ITF) Western Hemisphere Team title with his crew, Turnstylez, and became ITF World Beat Juggling Champ a year later. Jaz has graced stages worldwide as a DJ and keyboardist with Nelly Furtado and K-OS..
He started the first-ever “Scratch from Scratch: DJ Fundamentals” course at Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music, the institution from which he obtained his classical music degree in piano. He now teaches DJ Fundamentals at the Regent Park School of Music. Other current collaborations include Saukrates (live stage show), and Rubberbandance Group (MTL contemporary dance group).
Dalton Higgins - @daltonhiggins5
Dalton Higgins is an Author, Performing Arts & Music Presenter, and Multimedia Journalist. As the author of six books that examine the place where the worlds of technology, diversity, and hip hop culture intersect, his book Far From Over: The Music and Life of Drake – carried in the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame & Museum collection in Cleveland – sheds light on the iconic rapper Drake phenomenon, while his best-selling Hip Hop Worldbook - which is carried in Harvard University’s hip hop archive - led to a 2010 Hip Hop Scholar of the Year award nomination courtesy of Washington DC’s WBLINC. Higgins' pioneering work as a global music presenter has taken him to Denmark, Australia, Germany, Colombia, France, Cuba, Spain, England and across the United States, boasting production credits on over 500+ live concert productions.
As a long time supporter of Canadian music, Higgins worked as the Content Manager on the historic Hip Hop Summit (supported by the CBC) that brought together some of Canada's greatest hip hop talents including Maestro, Michie Mee, Kardinal Offishall, k-os, K'naan, Shad, Dream Warriors, Ghetto Concept, Classified, Saukrates and others to perform on one stage for one night. As a long time multimedia journalist, Higgins has written numerous feature stories for noteworthy black music periodicals including Vibe Magazine and The Source, and has worked behind the camera as an Awards show scriptwriter for Gemini Award-winning comedian Russell Peters. Higgins sits on the Toronto Arts Council’s Music Committee and Canada Council for the Arts racial equity advisory committee -
Michie Mee is known within the music industry for her unique rap style of combining reggae and dancehall with hiphop. Many successful artists have followed in Michie’s footsteps using this gifted technique. With over two decades in the entertainment industry, the Juno nominated rapper and actress is not only an inspiration for female musicians, but also all artists nationwide.
Aside from her life as an entertainer, Michie is also a mother who makes it one of her duties to keep involved with today’s youth. Knowing first hand the twists and turns artists often face in entertainment, Michie is an avid supporter of children striving to achieve a good education. Michie herself left university after her music career began to soar and has always spoken openly about the importance of education. Michie continues to enhance her abilities to attract diverse roles on television and film. She was featured in the 2011 CBC hip hop documentary “Love, Props and the T. Dot,” this trailblazer’s saga still continues. Michie Mee’s reign as Queen is far from over.
Michie is the 1st Canadian Hip Hop Recording Artist to sign an American Major Record deal and is the recipient of the 2012 Dj Stylus Hall of Fame Award 2013 CUMC Lifetime Achievement Award, 2014 Black Canadian Award for Best Female Rap Act, and most recently made History winning the Toronto Arts Council 'Roy Thomson Hall Award' of 10K . The Roy Thomson Hall Award recognizes creative, performing, administrative, volunteer, or philanthropic contributions to Toronto's musical life by a person, ensemble or organization. Ms. Mee is the CEO of MBM Publishing , MBM Inc. looking forward to NEW music 2015.
TuggS.T.A.R. - @tuggstar
Tuggs.t.a.r, meaning Still True After Rhyme is a British born Ghanaian Poet that has crafted a reputation of himself as being an acute social observer, verbal documentarian and a modern communicator of oral history. He developed his craft as a professional poet during an extended stay in Toronto, in 2001 where he became a feature of many popular spoken word shows including When Brothers Speaks and was the first British participant of the Toronto International Poetry Slam.
As a London based poet he became a pioneer of theatrical poetry, and took his talent to the community becoming a youth engagement practitioner, where he was responsible for coaching and mentoring youth at risk and mediating various "gang" disputes through Jim Brown's Amer-I-Can program. Now a resident of Canada, he wishes his experience to be an asset to the Canadian community.