October 26, 2016, by Paula Akpan

Thoughts on The Evolution of an Emcee – with Akala

Yesterday, I attended The Evolution of an Emcee talk at The University of Nottingham’s Arts Centre given by guest speaker, Akala, an award-winning British rapper and poet.

The MC talked in depth about the importance of understanding the impact Afro-Caribbean cultures have had on the music industry and how the way in which Africa is continually portrayed and marketed – as an impoverished continent with very little to offer in the way of history other than slavery and colonisation – has shaped how we view the history of music. Akala took us on a refreshing introductory journey of the role of music and cultural resistance in countries such as Mali and Haiti – taking us from the medieval period to right to the present day and how different sounds and styles we recognise today as grime, hip-hop and jungle aren’t new.

Although I don’t possess a vast knowledge of rap and its history, Akala’s lecture was accessible, fascinating and educational. I live tweeted the event for People and Culture and you can read the Storify here or see it as a slide show below.

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