Stevio...LA LA Lovin' It?

I'm British-born Chinese from Bristol, UK. I’m LA-based. I’m a hip hop aficionado. After 15 years in London I moved to LA to pursue a new career and outlook on life.

Back in the 80s I was a DJ. In the 90s I contributed to the world's first street style exhibition at London's Victoria & Albert Museum. In 2011, I had my first interviews published. Today, I’m keeping busy with music, art, photos and writing.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

L.A.'s Grammy Museum gives props to hip hip!

The Grammys award ceremony in Los Angeles might be over, but the you can still share the vibe at the Grammy Museum in downtown.

A major hip hop exhibition, entitled "Hip Hop: A Cultural Odyssey," opened this month ahead of the Grammys and runs until May 4th with various educational programs running in parallel. And, it's just in time since ABC News noticed that in this year's Grammys "hip hop artists are dominant in key categories." In fact, Eminem was a big favorite with 10 nominations, including album of the year! ABC News also spotted that "four of the five songs up for record of the year were recorded by hip-hop artists." That's love!

The exhibition is based on a book from ARIA (Multimedia Entertainment.) Although it's incorrectly described as "the first luxury, large format hip hop book" no one can dispute the awesomeness of the 420 historic photos. The honor of the first luxury large format book goes to "Hip Hop Immortals" released nearly a decade ago in 2002 and it even comes in "Player" and "Baller" editions!

Better recognize For me, a standing ovation has to go to ARIA for being able to get the Grammy Foundation to recognize hip hop in the museum and to create this exhibition! Especially since hip hop/rap wasn't even acknowledged by the Recording Academy until 1989.

One of the biggest complaints of the community was hip-hop being ignored by the Grammys. The Grammy Foundation has sort of treated it like a stepchild...Some of it was racial, I think. Some of it was the fact that it got off to a bad start with the DeLores Tuckers and people badmouthing it or thinking it was too misogynistic or too gangster.”  Jeff Wald, CEO ARIA (in Los Angeles Times online.)
"It took awhile for the Recording Academy to accept hip-hop on such a scale that it would actually put it as part of the Grammy Awards show on television each year. However, that's certainly in the past, we've come a long way since that. But in this exhibit we acknowledge that, and also celebrate that." Bob Santelli, museum director (on ABC

"There are all the other elements that they don't really focus on, which is the B-boys, the B-girls, the DJs ... songwriters and the graffiti artists, and that fifth element, the knowledge that holds it all together," Bambaataa said. "There needs to be more thorough research on how hip-hop has helped so many people, from different nationalities and so-called races, on this planet." Afrika Bambaataa, Universal Zulu Nation (on ABC

Grammy Museum visitors (credit: Billboard)
N.W.A. (Hip Hop: A Cultural Odyssey)

Bonus beats A man who lay a lot of the paving stones for commercial hip hop is Russell Simmons. No matter what I think about his book title, "Super Rich..." I want to hear him discuss his career at a Q&A session presented by Amex. The "Icon of the music industry: Russell Simmons" is on February 25th. More information can be found here. $35! Only Russell can be paid for a book tour! Hahaaa. (Joke, proceeds go to the museum.)

"His groundbreaking vision has influenced music, fashion, finance, the jewelry industry, television and film, and he's changed the face of modern philanthropy. Join us as we welcome Def Jam Recordings creator and Hip-Hop pioneer Russell Simmons. Hear Simmons, joined by GRAMMY Museum Executive Director Bob Santelli, discuss his monumental influence and entrepreneurial approach to both business and philanthropy that has made him a globally-recognized icon. Simmons newest book, Super Rich: A Guide to Having it All will also be a topic of discussion. Following the interview, Simmons will engage with the audience in a Q&A session." Grammy Museum

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