Hip Hop Hooray



Wyatt Mayes, Staff Writer

Walking into the Shea Center for Performing Arts five minutes before showtime, it could not be known for any 20-something what was in store: a room filled with kids. Not kids from high school or even middle school, but of the age where they just learning their times tables. The center was half-full with kids, with a couple of William Paterson music students mixed in. A loud buzzing echoed across the theater as the young kids moved around in their seats and gossiped amongst themselves. Their teachers were trying to calm them down while explaining the rules of watching what might have been their first live performance.

When a voice from above resonated over the Shea Center, the audience ceased their squirming and poking and then gazed over at center stage, waiting to see what would happen next. A group of five walked on, led by an older man by the name Rodney, who would be the MC for the next hour, wearing all black and Adidas. Phil was slightly younger and wore infinitely more color with a clash of red, white and black. Kat wore a baseball cap with a ponytail sticking out. Josh was by far the baby of the group and wore a simple Blue T-Shirt with a tendency to move his dreads apart when he was not performing. Lastly, Sam wore a regular sweatshirt and could not help being noticed with her washed-out, multi-colored hair.

Evangelea Bourinaris, a popular music emphasis major at William Paterson, showed up because of a requirement but then turned into a fan of the show, “It was kind of interesting. I did not know what to expect and it turned out to be a party.”

A party indeed as the group started with a throwback to the Jackson Five with the hidden gem “Walk Right Now.” From there, it was a display of imagination¬†and movement you could only see the street. The classic beats of “Walk Right Now” flowed through their veins as they showed the Boogaloo style that could only found on the streets of the West Coast. From there the styling of Onra’s “Keep on Loving Me” flowed like water into a pure freestyle round. The MC, although not an active participant, made sure his young audience understood the history of hip hop, from the West Coast and East Coast hip-hop to house music and the infamous hip hop social. The audience soon turned into active volunteers while some of the youngest observers showed off dance moves to rival those they idolized just minutes before.

Xander Marx, a sophomore, felt worried that the performance would be cheesy but quickly changed his mind. “I felt that this was really great and I think for the kids, it really helps them become apart of different cultures that we have in music and the arts. ”