‘Hamil­ton’ meets South Florida hip-hop

Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition - Showtime - Palm Beach - - MUSIC -

While the hip-hop mu­si­cal “Hamil­ton” salutes Amer­ica’s fore­fa­thers at the Broward Cen­ter, the NSU Art Mu­seum Fort Lauderdale will cel­e­brate South Florida’s place in the rap land­scape.

“A His­tory of Art and Hip-Hop in South Florida,” open­ing at the mu­seum on Jan. 3, will fea­ture a “Hamil­ton”-themed evening of South­ern hip-hop mu­sic, hip-hop art dis­plays and break­dance work­shops.

The hip-hop “sym­po­sium,” as NSU Art Mu­seum calls it, co­in­cides with the U.S. tour of “Hamil­ton,” which pre­miered on Tues­day in Fort Lauderdale and con­tin­ues five more weeks un­til Jan. 20.

Here’s ev­ery­thing you should know about the mu­seum’s hip-hop event.

What does the mu­seum’s hip-hop event have to do with “Hamil­ton”?

The com­mon de­nom­i­na­tor, of course, is hip-hop, and Lin-Manuel Mi­randa’s Tony-win­ning mu­si­cal car­ries wink­ing nods to Mobb Deep, LL Cool J, Nas and even Bey­once. Think of “A His­tory of Art and HipHop in South Florida” as a pre-“Hamil­ton” palate­cleanser, show­cas­ing the his­tory of Mi­ami bass, the 1980s rump-shak­ing, trail­blaz­ing hip-hop sub­genre made pop­u­lar by groups such as 2 Live Crew (“Me So Horny,” “Hootchie Mama”).

“Our hip-hop is a fu­sion of Latino in­flu­ences, but also East In­dian, African and the Caribbean,” says Bon­nie Clear­wa­ter, the NSU Art Mu­seum’s di­rec­tor. “We want to show how hip-hop gives power to peo­ple in South Florida.”

Who’s ap­pear­ing at the NSU Art Mu­seum event?

Three artists and one hip-hop dancer are on the bill. There’s Pe­ru­vian-born artist Wil­liam Cor­dova, who grew up spray­ing graf­fiti across Mi­ami build­ings, his works mak­ing ref­er­ences to ur­ban hiphop cul­ture with spare il­lus­tra­tions of boom boxes and LPs. Mi­ami-Dade Col­lege grad­u­ate and sculp­tor Luis Gis­pert also uses hiphop iconog­ra­phy, such as turnta­bles and chrome tire rims, to cel­e­brate ur­ban cul­ture. (His “Cheer­lead­ers” se­ries of pho­tos, for ex­am­ple, depict “chon­gas,” Mi­ami-spawned slang that refers to young work­ing­class Lati­nas, usu­ally from Hialeah.) Mean­while, Kandy G. Lopez, a Florida At­lantic Uni­ver­sity grad­u­ate, cre­ates oil por­traits that sa­lute the ur­ban “swag” of in­di­vid­u­als liv­ing in rough com­mu­ni­ties.

Cor­dova, Gis­pert and Lopez will join Clear­wa­ter in a 6-7 p.m. artist talk about the his­tory of South Florida hip-hop. That will be pre­ceded by a 4-6 p.m. dance work­shop by hiphop dancer Alonzo Wil­liams, who uses dance as a tool for “self-ex­pres­sion, so­cial jus­tice and fight­ing sub­ju­ga­tion,” he writes in an artist state­ment. When and where is it? The “His­tory of Art and Hip-Hop in South Florida” will take place 4-7 p.m. Thurs­day, Jan. 3, at NSU Art Mu­seum Fort Lauderdale, 1 E. Las Olas Blvd. The event is part of the mu­seum’s free Starry Night Thurs­days pro­gram­ming, and seat­ing is lim­ited. RSVP by call­ing 954-262-0258 and vis­it­ing this web­site, or go to NSUArtMu­seum.org.


“The His­tory of Art and Hip Hop in South Florida” will fea­ture a free “Hamil­ton”-themed evening of South­ern hip-hop, art demon­stra­tions and dance and rap work­shops.

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