Spoonfuls of soup, hip-hop at MLK Center’s Soup and Substance

UK students got a taste of diversity and hip-hop with the latest Soup and Substance discussion Thursday.

This month’s event, hosted by the Martin Luther King Center, continued a conversation from last semester on the history and changing landscape of hip-hop culture.

“We had so much great feedback that (our speaker) didn’t even get to finish,” said Savon Gray, a programming intern at the MLK Center and one of the event’s organizers.

Chamara Jewel Kwakye, an assistant professor of gender and women’s studies and African-American and Africana studies at UK, and David Luke, the assistant director of the center, served as primary guest speakers for this month’s discussion.

The overall conversation was built largely around the theme “then vs. now,” with the panelists and audience having opportunities to speak about the culture in its early and modern forms.

“When I think about hip-hop, when we were first kind of listening to it, I don’t think we knew, down the line, 20 years from now, that this (would) be something that’s completely and totally different,” Kwakye said.

Other topics of note from the discussion included the debate over whether hip-hop is “dead,” the differences between hip-hop as a culture and rap as a specific genre, and the relationship between artists, the general public and the music industry.

“We’d just like to allow people to really have a safe space to talk about how they feel about different things,” said Xavia Gantz, the center’s graduate assistant and an organizer of the event.

The event has been a success with students.

“It’s definitely relevant to me. As a sociology major and identifying as a black woman, hip-hop is definitely ingrained as a part of my understood interpreted identity,” said Tee Acree, a psychology and sociology double-major.

The water crisis in Flint, Michigan, is set to be the topic of the next event, set for March 24. Soup will be provided.

Soup and Substance is held on the third Thursday of each month in White Hall Classroom Building, room 208. More information can be found at the MLK Center in Blazer Hall, room 313, or at its website, http://www.uky.edu/MLKC/.