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Reflections While on the Run Pt 3

Event: “50 Years of Hip Hop: A Talk with DJs on Media, Technology, and Writing in the 21st Century” – Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, NJ

Date: Monday, October 23, 2023

Kicks of Choice: Clarks Wallabee Boot – Black/Khaki Floral

Thoughts captured on October 30, 2023

Fairleigh Dickinson called me for this event right around the time the book dropped, so the timing was on point. When the library contacted me (shout out to Tanama Cruz and the FDU Library folks), it definitely made sense. Plus Dr. Brian Mooney is there. We’re literally like 1.5 degrees of separation away. Brian and I met at a Teachers College event the year before, and everyone who knew both of us were like “y’all two need to connect!” So when this opportunity came up, I was with it!

It's always dope to start an event with being about the thing that I’m talking about. So getting on the 1s and 2s to DJ always feels right! I hadn’t downloaded the drivers on my computer for Brian’s controller, so I did what DJs do when we fighting the tech and the glitches in the matrix: I just jumped on his set with his Hip Hop catalogue, and got to the git down, simple and plain! After rockin’ a set, Brian jumped on and hit us with the Jungle production that he’s created. As soon as he started playing his beats, you could hear that Brian loves the music and loves the craft of DJing. That’s really rare in these academic spaces, so I was glad we could make it go!

Afterwards, Brian and I got to chop it up and talk about “K for the Way,” his book entitled Breakbeat Pedagogy and the implications of the work the DJ does in 21st century educational spaces. The conversation was dope and it felt really good to connect with another DJ/scholar on the importance of the DJ in the academy. The best part of the event, though…after the Q and A, we raffled off some books and gave students a chance to come up and learn how to transition from one song to another. To be able to share the practice that has gotten me through so much of my life is rewarding, and hopefully it’s inspiring to the students who were mixing with us. And it’s always good to connect with folks when your people are telling you “yo, you GOTTA connect with THAT person!”

Much love to the FDU Metro Campus Library for inviting me to this event. They made sure we got “K for the Way” into the FDU Library, and then they did an incredible interview with me that went into the FDU Library newsletter. Finally, we got a few copies to students so they could vibe with the work. Great times with great people!

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