Hip Hop Studies Summit

The Chaffey Hip Hop Studies Summit is an annual conference designed to bring together diverse scholars—students, faculty, researchers—and visual and performing artists from local communities in order to promote social justice and to celebrate African American/Black and Brown literacies through hip-hop. This year, we are highlighting our local hip hop community while showcasing the connections to the national—and now global—movement of hip hop around the world.

Hip Hop Studies Planning Committee, 2022
Emilie Koenig, English
Brent McLaren, Counseling
Adam Martinez, English
Donald Essex, DPS Counseling
Tara Johnson, Fashion Merchandising
Taisha McMickens, Communication Studies 

The Hip Hop Studies Summit is presented by the Arts, Communication, & Design Academic and Career Community in partnership with UMOJA and the Center for Culture and Social Justice.


Program Guide

Hip Hop Summit Program Guide (PDF)


Artist Spotlights

Jonah Elijah & Robert Newman

In an ode to the roots and sound of hip hop, our featured artists rep’ both the East and the West—Rob Newman from NYC and Jonah Elijah from LA, each gracing us with their unique take on Blackness and hip hop culture. 

  • Photograph of Jonah Elijah. Artwork left: Jonah Elijah, Epitome (Houston Freestyle King), 2021. Acrylic, spray paint, paper, lighters, license plate. Artwork right: Jonah Elijah, 25 lighters, 2021. Acrylic on canvas.
  • Jonah Elijah's statement - Provided as text on web page
  • Jonah Elijah, “Crenshaw's Annual Marathon,” 2020. Oil on canvas. 84 x 61 inches.
  • Jonah Elijah, “Ghetto Dreams,” 2021. Acrylic, chalk, shoes, on canvas. 96 x 48 inches.
  • Jonah Elijah, “Do you see what i see,” 2021. Acrylic, charcoal, oil pastel on paper. 18 x 24 inches.
  • Jonah Elijah, “Breonna Taylor (David Mills),” 2021. Acrylic, charcoal, oil pastel, paper, on paper. 18 x 24 inches.
  • Jonah Elijah, “David Mills - Unarmed,” 2021. Acrylic, charcoal, oil pastel, paper, on paper. 18 x 24 inches.
  • Jonah Elijah, “Pops going off on the cops,” 2019. Oil on canvas. 63 x 34 inches.
  • Jonah Elijah, “2019 BC (before covid),” 2020. Watercolor on paper. 22 x 30 inches.
  • Jonah Elijah, “The news you can use,” 2021. Acrylic, paper on canvas. 69 x 32 inches.
  • Photograph of Robert Newman.
  • Robert Newman's statement - Provided as text on web page
  • Robert Newman, from the series “Birth of the Kool,” “Baptized in Fire; The Return of Cleopatra,” 2021. Acrylic, ink, gold leaf, and collage on canvas. 36 x 72 inches.
  • Robert Newman, from the series “Birth of the Kool,” “Breakthrough,” 2021. Acrylic, ink, gold leaf, and collage on canvas. 30 x 48 inches.
  • Robert Newman, “My Favorite Hue No. 1,” 2019. Acrylic, ink, and gold leaf on canvas. 30 x 40 inches.
  • Robert Newman, from the series “Birth of the Kool,” “St. Ignis,” 2021. Acrylic, ink, and gold leaf on canvas. 30 x 40 inches.
  • Robert Newman, “No Fury,” 2020. Acrylic, ink, and gold leaf on canvas. 30 x 40 inches.
  • Robert Newman, “Without Struggle,” 2020. Acrylic, ink, and gold leaf on canvas. 30 x 40 inches.
  • Robert Newman, “Girl with the Hoop Earring,” 2021. Acrylic, ink, and gold leaf on canvas. 24 x 36 inches.
  • Robert Newman, “Grandma’s Garden,” 2021. Acrylic, ink, and newspaper collage on canvas. 18 x 24 inches.
  • Robert Newman, “Bebop #3,” 2021. Acrylic and ink on canvas. 11 x 14 inches.
  • Robert Newman, “Bebop #4,” 2021. Acrylic, ink, and newspaper collage on cardboard. 18 x 24 inches.
  • Robert Newman, “Young Kings,” 2019. Acrylic and ink on metalsheet. 24 x 36 inches.
Jonah Elijah

Jonah Elijah is a Houston, Texas native now working in Los Angeles. He received his BA in studio art from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2017. MFA from Claremont Graduate University in 2020.

Jonah Elijah’s work encapsulates black life in America and addresses controversial issues that actively affect the African American community. Using materials to explore economic inequality, displacement, or human rights Elijah’s artist practice embraces discomforting realities.  Being raised around lower income hard ships Elijah builds off his own personal upbringing and creates works that reflect the black experience. Whether in his paintings or installations, Jonah layers his work with coded language offering an abstracted or representational view of what it’s like to be black today.

I negotiate and celebrate the concept of being black, through narratives, exploration of identity, portraiture, and language. Through abstraction, representation, and assemblage I use my memories to depict the experience of being raised in a predominately black neighborhood. I depict the scenes from my journey with the hopes of providing nostalgia for a viewer. When it comes to innovation, I’m always in search of news way too bring my ideas to life. Currently I have been dissecting sneakers and attaching them in my pieces to help the viewer walk in my shoes.  My work invites viewers to look at these experiences both literally and metaphorically, echoing my upbringing.  I not only want people to see scenes from my life, but also to feel what it's like to be a part of my larger community and maybe even feel what it’s like be black in America.

Robert Newman

Robert L. Newman III is a self-taught Black American multidisciplinary artist, best known for his expressionist portraits. Currently living and working in Harlem, New York, Newman's work primarily follows and examines the narrative of Black Folks through a post-Civil War Reconstruction era lens. Newman's artistic journey began in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the window of his grandmother's doll store. Since then, Newman has traveled and lived throughout the United States with a significant amount of his time situated in what is known as the "Jim Crow South." Florida, Arkansas, Tennessee and Georgia. Newman utilizes his intimate and life-long experiences within Black culture to showcase the continued liberation efforts of Black Folks in America, evoking and honoring his ancestors throughout each piece he creates. 

Drawing and painting have always been my first loves, but in my growth as an artist, I have become more interested in fashion, photography, curating and writing. Much of my work is still influenced by my grandmother. She was my first teacher. I have since had the opportunity to study at Morehouse College, a historically Black college in Atlanta, GA and the alma mater of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Because of this, my work is in constant conversation with my community. I seek to create work that represents my peers and neighbors in the way I see them [and they see themselves]. My hope is that through this process of storytelling, I can facilitate healing and growth for Black folks in American who have lived with, and for some through, the generational trauma of slavery and oppression.


Community Exhibition

Ruminations n' Rhythm: Reflections on Hip Hop
Guest Juror John Jennings

In KRS-One’s Ruminations, he contends that “Rap is something you do. Hip Hop is something you live.” He also frequently reminds us that hip hop has the power to change the world. For this virtual exhibition—titled Ruminations ‘n Rhythm: Reflections on Hip Hop as an homage to KRS-One—we asked artists to consider how hip hop appears, manifests itself, and/or operates within their lives as well as the power that hip hop has to spark dialogue, reflect experience, critique structure(s), envision new possibilities, and/or enact the type of change that KRS-One so famously imagines. This exhibition seeks to capture some of the ways that hip hop has been (and continues to be) a part of our lives—individually, collectively, locally, broadly, intimately, publicly.

We are also hype to welcome back our guest juror, John Jennings, who served as the keynote speaker at the Inaugural Hip Hop Studies Summit. Jennings is a professor of Media and Cultural Studies at UCR, a NY Times bestselling author, graphic novelist, curator, Harvard Fellow, and editor. Jennings examines the visual culture of race in various media forms including film, illustrated fiction, comics, and graphic novels. He is also the director of Abrams ComicArts imprint Megascope, which publishes graphic novels focused on the experiences of people of color. 


Juror Selections

Michael Laughlin, “OVERLOOK #1,” 2021. Computer-generated imagery
(http://www.michaellaughlinart.com)

Jerry Stevenson, “Hip Hop Dancer,” 2021. Digital artwork.
(@jerrystevensonphotography, http://jerrystevensonphotography.com)

Lauren Jacob, “Brooklyn,” 2020. Digital photography.
(@laurenjmedia)


Gallery
  • JUROR SELECTION: Michael Laughlin, “OVERLOOK #1,” 2021. Computer-generated imagery. (http://www.michaellaughlinart.com/)
  • JUROR SELECTION: Jerry Stevenson, “Hip Hop Dancer,” 2021. Digital artwork. (@jerrystevensonphotography, jerrystevensonphotography.com)
  • JUROR SELECTION: Lauren Jacob, “Brooklyn,” 2020. Digital photography. (@laurenjmedia)
  • Suleman Baig, “Golden Age Hip-Hop: 1984-1992,” 2022. Design for Vinyl record.
  • Curt Burgess, “Black Lives,” 2022. Digital artwork.
  • Tarell Essex-Simmons, “A Tale of 2 Starz,” 2016. Digital artwork. (https://tessexsimmons.myportfolio.com)
  • T. Faye Griffin, “Man and His Brushes,” 2020. Watercolor. (http://tperiodart.com)
  • Michael Laughlin, “OVERLOOK #4,” 2021. Computer-generated imagery. (http://www.michaellaughlinart.com)
  • Michael Laughlin, “OVERLOOK #9,” 2021. Computer-generated imagery. (http://www.michaellaughlinart.com)
  • Michael Laughlin, “OVERLOOK #5,” 2021. Computer-generated imagery. (http://www.michaellaughlinart.com)
  • Mark Rush, “Musical Keys,” 2019. Acrylic. (https://markrushart.com)
  • Keenan Sims, “Resolve,” 2020. (Instagram: @olivia.ent / YouTube: @Mrs. Sweets)
  • Keenan Sims, “Resolve,” 2020. (Instagram: @olivia.ent / YouTube: @Mrs. Sweets)
  • Keenan Sims, “Resolve,” 2020. (Instagram: @olivia.ent / YouTube: @Mrs. Sweets)
  • Keenan Sims, “Resolve,” 2020. (Instagram: @olivia.ent / YouTube: @Mrs. Sweets)
  • Keenan Sims, “Resolve,” 2020. (Instagram: @olivia.ent / YouTube: @Mrs. Sweets)
  • Keenan Sims, “Resolve,” 2020. (Instagram: @olivia.ent / YouTube: @Mrs. Sweets)
  • Keenan Sims, “Heart of Hip,” 2022. (Instagram: @olivia.ent / YouTube: @Mrs. Sweets)
  • Jerry Stevenson, “B-Boy Dancer,” 2021. Digital artwork. (Instagram @jerrystevensonphotography)

Audio

Fisher King Studios, “King's Diseases,” 2021. Music by Paul Rodriguez, featuring Summet Kushalani on saxophone and original poetry by Tino Garcia.
(Instagram @philosophydad / Soundcloud @fisherkingstudios)

Fisher King Studios, “Latinx Lit,” 2021. Music by Paul Rodriguez, featuring Summet Kushalani on saxophone and original poetry by Tino Garcia.
(Instagram @philosophydad / Soundcloud @fisherkingstudios)


Arya San, Big RE$$, "Who Woulda Thought," 2021.
(Facebook: @big_RE55 / Twitter: @Big_RE55InThis)

Arya San, Big RE$$, "Genuinely Concerned," 2021.
(Facebook: @big_RE55 / Twitter: @Big_RE55InThis0)

Arya San, Big RE$$, "Odd One Out," 2021.
(Facebook: @big_RE55 / Twitter: @Big_RE55InThis)

Arya San, Big RE$$, "Just a Crush," 2021.
(Facebook: @big_RE55 / Twitter: @Big_RE55InThis)

Arya San, Big RE$$, "Now," 2021.
(Facebook: @big_RE55 / Twitter: @Big_RE55InThis)


Video

Daniel Jacobo, “WORD L.A. AN ORAL RESPONSE TO THE RODNEY KING VIOLENCE, redux” 2022. Video, TRT 05:17.


Michael Laughlin, “OVERLOOK #12,” 2021. Digital animation video. (http://www.michaellaughlinart.com)