“Success never smelled so sweet, I stink of success!” So declared Jay-Z this weekend at a concert in London’s Hackney Marshes. The one time crack dealer was well placed to make such claims coming from ‘rock’ bottom to become one of the richest rappers on the planet.
But is rap an art form that gives the street a voice? Or is it all just money, misogyny and materialism? Is hip-hop the authentic voice of the oppressed that turns anger into poetry and political action – or is it a glorification of all that holds back oppressed minorities and hinders them from mainstream assimilation?
This week, Intelligence Squared and Google+ team up for a never-before-seen global debate on hip-hop. Taking place in London’s historic Barbican Centre and streamed live on the web through Intelligence Squared’s unique Versus courtroom format the event will showcase two brilliant advocates who will grill the panellists to build a case either for or against the motion.
Speakers will be on stage will include Jesse Jackson, Q-Tip, KRS-One, P. J. O’Rourke, Estelle, ?uestlove and many more either appearing on the big screen via Google+ Hangout.
In an exclusive London appearance, virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier will face off with critical voices Shaun Bailey, David Cameron’s adviser on youth and crime, Tony Sewell, youth charity founder, and Hattie Collins, music editor of i-D magazine. P J O’Rourke, America’s leading satirist, will be adding his dose of wit and libertarianism on the Hangout from his hideaway in New Hampshire.
When: Tuesday, 26 June, 19:00-20:30 GMT (What’s the time in London Now?)
Watch and Vote Online:
Versus YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/versusdebates and Versus Google+ Channel bit.ly/iq2google
Comments & thoughts welcome below…