“I’m part of this artists’ collective, that Chuck D put together, called mADurgency. We’re illustrators, and graphic designers, and artists who were put together to serve the Hip-Hop community. Our goal is to perpetuate Hip-Hop culture” – Andrew J. Katz
A few weeks ago, I was contacted by a semi-local on-line entity called StayUp.News. Out of Baltimore, this group shines a light on Hip-Hop, it’s audience, and those who have struggled to be heard.
StayUp.News is a revolutionary media project that seeks to document social and political issues through Hip-Hop, amplifying the voices of persons from sectors of society that often go ignored in the process of news gathering, and doing so in a language that is intimately familiar to them.
For over 40 years, Hip-Hop has served as the principal language of many communities, particularly in urban America. By treating Hip-Hop as an intellectual tradition, and harnessing its canon and vocabulary in order to frame social and political conversations, StayUp.News delivers a fresh and unique perspective on all manner of issues impacting people on a daily basis.
We agreed to meet, and set up the interview to take place in the modest studio space I keep in my home. It was a welcome idea that the crew would come to me, as I often find myself driving long distances to carry on with my Hip-Hop project.
Tahj, the interviewer, and Jack, the cameraman, arrived right on time, and quickly transformed my little room into a well-lit tv studio. We talked for over an hour, with topics ranging from the mADurgency collective that Chuck D started, to my personal Hip-Hop origins. I spoke for a good chunk of time about tributes and celebrations that are often the goals of our artworks. We compared notes on competition in the art world, and discussed how empowerment and helping others is a better way to go.
In the end, our hour-and-twenty-minute session was trimmed down to three minutes. While I find it a bit odd to be the subject of an interview, and even more strange to see myself talking on-screen, I’m grateful to StayUp for offering me a unique platform for documenting and telling my story. Thanks, Tahj, Jack, and Alejandro. This was a nice feather in my cap.
Here is the interview. Thanks for checking it out! – AK