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Bring It: A Challenge to Make a Beat Sampling for a Fijan Chant

Making a beat out of this sample is a challenge we're issuing worldwide.

We took a field trip to a Baha'i Faith Center in Suva, Fiji, to record local performers and sounds to make beats. We were invited by our beat-making student Paul, a guitar-playing community activist who, with his wife, ran a youth dance company at the center. On deck for the evening was a very striking style of local music and dance—Pacific Island body percussion—and it was really amazing.

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I remember meeting Ben on the second day of class. He missed the first day because he had to take a 12-hour boat from his home in Savusavu, to get to where the beat-making workshops were being held at the University of the South Pacific in Suva. Our host, Dave Lavaki (also known as rapper Mr. Grin), introduced Ben as a talented pianist, singer, and community activist with a background at the Berkeley College of Music.

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Hip-Hop University: How the Genre Is Taking Over Higher Learning

Right now, we are at in an interesting historical moment in hip-hop.

Right now, we are at in an interesting historical moment in hip-hop. Over the past 40 years, the culture has grown from its grassroots foundations at Bronx block parties, to becoming the most important youth culture on the planet. There have been a wide range of institutional co-signs, from rappers spitting poetry in the White House, to colleges and universities offering classes and degrees on hip-hop.

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