Campus News

UK OID, Lewis Honors College to host event in honor of 50th anniversary of hip-hop

Photo of  Stevie “Dr. View” Johnson
Stevie “Dr. View” Johnson.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 2, 2023) — The University of Kentucky Office for Institutional Diversity (OID) and the Lewis Honors College will host a guided lecture with music with guest lecturer Stevie “Dr. View” Johnson to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Hip-Hop.

Titled “Knowledge of Self: The 5th Pillar of Hip-Hop,” the lecture will take place 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 9, in the Lewis Honors College Student Lounge. Lunch will be provided. 

“This collaboration brings together both music and academic perspective in a way we don’t see often,” said UK Executive Director for Institutional Engagement Jason Brooks. “When we think about 'hip-hop' we obviously think of music and break dancing and how it’s shaped our culture that we’re in; but we never think about hip-hop from a contemporary academic perspective.”

Stevie “Dr. View” Johnson is the assistant professor of creative practice in popular music at Ohio State University. The Tulsa-based producer and DJ is a southern, soulful, sampled-based beat maker and songwriter who utilizes sound to educate and liberate community through music and stories. Inspired by the likes of Big K.R.I.T., Bobbi Humphrey, Dr. Dre, The Dream, Quincy Jones, Missy Elliott and DJ Mr. Rogers, Johnson got his name not only from his Ph.D., but from his southern roots in Longview, Texas. 

Johnson received his Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of Oklahoma in 2019. His dissertation, titled "Curriculum of the Mind: A BlackCrit, Narrative Inquiry Hip Hop Album on Anti-Blackness and Freedom for Black Male Collegians at historically white institutions," received the 2019 Bobby Wright Dissertation of the Year Award for the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE). This was the first time a hip-hop dissertation or nontraditional dissertation ever received the award. 

Johnson is the founder and executive producer of "Fire in Little Africa," a multimedia hip-hop project that consisted of four components: a 21-track hip-hop album which was signed to Motown Records, an award-winning documentary, podcast and curriculum inspired by Black Wall Street, and the 100-year acknowledgment of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. The project, featuring 60 artists from the state of Oklahoma, was released in May 2021 and accumulated over 7 million streams across all digital streaming platforms. 

In celebrating 50 years of excellence in music, Brooks believes a greater appreciation of the original context of what hip-hop is will be gained.

“This particular event brings to life the fifth pillar of event 'knowledge of self,'” Brooks said. “The fifth pillar is the thread that weaves all the other elements together. 'Knowledge of self' refers to Afro-diasporic mix of spiritual and political consciousness designed to empower members of oppressed groups, according Travis Gosa in his book titled 'The fifth Element of Hip Hop: Knowledge.'”

This event is open to all UK students, faculty and staff, as well as the public. Registration is required:

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