The Asian Pacific Islander Student Center’s Fourth Annual Urban Showcase held Friday in the Bronco Student Center was an underground art festival doubling as a crash course in diversity and culture.
The night was split up into four different parts. Each portion provided different perspectives to hip-hop culture through different workshops, performances and lectures.
The first part of the night consisted of various student musicians, artists and up and coming acts displaying their interpretations of urban culture. Cal Poly Pomona student acts varied from rap to beat-boxing to spoken word poetry.
According to third-year Landscape Architecture student and APISC Social Justice Leader, Andrew Phan, the event was supposed to serve as a launching pad for the many aspiring artists who otherwise would not have the opportunity to display their talents.
One of the groups taking advantage of this launching pad was A-Roc and A Hard Place, a local rap and hard rock band from Upland.
“This is a good stepping stone for us,” said A-Roc. “We are trying to progress this culture and Cal Poly Pomona has always shown us love.”
Quintin Cummins, a third-year music student and aspiring hip-hop artist, was also thrilled about the opportunity to perform and the implications of the showcase.
“We, as a generation, dictate what our future will be,” said Cummins. “We have to make sure this music and this event has the most positive of impacts on the people here so this culture can be passed down to future generations.”
To first-year Music student O.J. Custodio, these positive impacts would help him understand the Southern California hip-hop culture. Having just moved to Pomona from San Jose and being an aspiring hip-hop artist himself, the event served as a good introduction.
“Me being from the Bay Area and experiencing Pomona’s hip-hop culture has been a total culture shock,” said Custodio. “But I’ve only been here a couple of weeks and what I am seeing right now, it makes me excited.”
The second part of the night was a Disc Jockey workshop where students learned some tricks of the trade and the history behind it.
Along with the workshop were hip-hop style clothes booths and a community graffiti canvas everyone was urged to mark up.
To add some depth to the culture of hip-hop, the third part of the night came in the form of a lecture by Wes Jackson, founder of the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival.
Jackson provided some context to hip-hop by sharing some of his own personal experiences and analyzing the history of the misunderstood culture.
“People just think hip-hop is violent or racist or homophobic,” said Jackson. “When you do the research and know the history, that’s just not the case. That’s why I did this event.”
Event after event had taken place and each one did its share of informing and entertaining. The night’s events built upon themselves and used the lessons it provided to reinforce the appreciation for the culture and its artists.
To start the grand finale of the event, Rocky Rivera, a hip-hop journalist and MC, rapped on a dance floor placed in the middle of Ursa Major.
After Rivera, a few acoustic artists performed before the headlining artist Dumbfoundead took the stage. Dumbfoundead was greeted by a sizeable and enthusiastic CPP crowd.
The night’s lesson of cultural acceptance was given a new legitimacy by Dumbfoundead’s raw talent and electric performance. Students were excited to perform with and see an artist of his caliber at the showcase.
By replacing stereotype with truth and analyzing the diversity of the hip-hop culture, students were treated to an informative and entertaining event. The APISC’s Urban Showcase provided a new perspective to students of a classically misunderstood culture