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Friday, May 24, 2024

‘Cherish Your Legacy’ Hip-Hop Event Coming to William & Mary

The William and Mary Hip Hop Collection and Art Riche are co-hosting Cherish Your Legacy. (Cymandye Russell)

WILLIAMSBURG — The William & Mary Hip Hop Collection, in collaboration with Art Riche and SWEM Library Special Collections, is co-hosting an event to bring awareness to hip-hop culture in Virginia.

The event, “Cherish Your Legacy,” will take place on Dec. 2 at 10 a.m.

The William & Mary Hip Hop Collection, created by Kevin Kosanovich, is the definitive resource for Virginia’s hip-hop culture and history from the 1980s to present day. The collection houses an assortment of hip-hop music recordings, publications, and ephemera contributed by Virginia and Virginia-based artists that have shaped the hip-hop culture in Virginia.

The William & Mary Hip Hop Collection has become a passion project for Cymandye Russell. Russell is the first charter member of the William & Mary Hip Hop Collection and the creator of Art Riche. Through the event, Russell hopes to connect music industry leaders to the Williamsburg community.

“I want to bring awareness to preserving the culture of hip-hop in Virginia. We don’t really have anything that really preserves our hip-hop history here. Representation of hip-hop is very important to me. We have to cherish our legacies because we could be here one day and gone the next. You don’t know the value of something while you are alive but when they are gone, you might realize what they have truly contributed to society,” Russell said.

The event will feature two keynote panel sessions; Session Report: From the Creative Process to Publishing and Define YOU: The Power of Effective Branding and Marketing. Panelists include Virginia-based music business professionals, producers, studio CEOs, hip-hop artists, and more.

A small sampling of what the William and Mary Hip Hop Collection holds (Cymandye Russell)

“This event will bring information from true experts and living legends in the Virginia hip-hop scene. I’ve really tried to bring people who are currently active in the industry. It’s a different perspective from what is normally out there about the music industry. These are people from our state that come from our backyard that will share their wealth of knowledge with the community,” Russell said.

There will also be networking opportunities, a Lunch n’ Learn, a talent exhibition, and the Hip Hop Collection will be available to view throughout the duration of the event.

Russell hopes that attendees leave with a sense of pride in the vast hip-hop history that Virginia has to offer.

“Hip hop is at the forefront of pop culture and it’s a billion-dollar industry. It’s valuable to understand a business, just like you would understand any other corporation or job. Hopefully, people will look at hip-hop like they look at country music. Hip-hop is just a different sound and different style, it’s no less. Valuing hip-hop just like any other genre of music is the goal and if we can reach one person, we’ve done our job,” Russell said.

Registration is not mandatory, but an RSVP for the Lunch n’ Learn is requested for headcount purposes. The event is free and open to the public and will be located at the Special Collections Research Center.

For more information, click event webpage.

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