Grandmaster Flash has been called a pioneer, an influencer, an icon of culture, but he will soon be called “professor.”
He has accepted a position at the University at Buffalo, setting himself up as an artist in residence for the SUNY institution.
The first rap act (Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five) to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a distinction he wears with pride.
And makes the staff addition extremely attractive and exciting. But what’s making it revolutionary, is that he will be helping to create Hip-Hop inspired programming for UB’s Arts Collaboratory by directing the upcoming Working Artists Lab.
The DJ, who made his name in the 70s as one of the architects of Hip-Hop said, “The residency at UB gives me a chance to tell Hip-Hop’s whole story. The sights. The sounds. The places and the moments.”
“It’s important that we get this history right,” he continues. “For the next generation to take music and art in new directions, they have to know where that music and art came from, who made it and how.”
Bronwyn Keenan, director of UB’s Arts Collaboratory, is beaming with pride for the hire, “This is a momentous occasion for UB. Over the course of several weeks, students from UB and Buffalo State College, along with Buffalo-area artists, will have an opportunity to engage with one of the most important artists and innovators of our time – and he is making an ongoing commitment to UB. This is not one-and-done.”
Part of the curriculum is to show his film Hip-Hop: People, Places & Things, a firsthand curation of Hip-Hop from the very start of everything.
Like many teachers in the COVID-19 reality, starting September 30, he will have video conferencing before his three-day in-person residency.
His lectures will include scholars and various Hip-Hop luminaries. On October 1, he will host a master class and on October 2, the students will get to share their creations with him.