The [R]Evolution of Hip Hop: The Foundation is the first of many immersive installations conceived by creative agents from multiple artistic backgrounds that employ archives and experimental storytelling techniques focusing on the five elements of Hip Hop – MCing, DJing, Breakdancing, Aerosol Art,
Kurtis Walker (born August 9, 1959), professionally known by his stage name Kurtis Blow, is Hip Hop’s first superstar. He is a trained singer, professional songwriter, record/film producer, b-boy, DJ, public speaker and ordained minister. He is the first commercially successful rapper and the first to sign with a major record label. “The Breaks”, a single from his 1980 self-titled debut album, is the first certified gold record rap song for Hip Hop. Throughout his career he has released 15 albums and is currently tour around the world.
Paradise Gray is the Chief Curator and Advisory Board Member of the Universal Hip Hop Museum. He is a Hip-Hop historian and legend from the South Bronx who was mentored by pioneering DJs, and has a collection of Hip Hip artifacts preserved beginning in 1979. He was entertainment manager, booking agent and host of the world-famous Hip Hop club, “The Latin Quarter,” which was the incubator of “The Golden Era of Hip-Hop” from 1986 – 1988. Paradise is an archivist, author, photographer, and produced nine (9) albums including two (2) classic albums with his legendary messenger group “X-Clan.” Paradise worked at RUSH Productions/Def Jam Recordings, and Mp3.com. He helped to develop the world’s first online music company.
Bill Adler has created and curated two hip-hop-oriented collections: The Adler Hip-Hop Archive now resides at Cornell University; The Eyejammie Hip-Hop Photography Collection now resides at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Between 1998 and 2000, he advised Seattle’s Experience Music Project regarding the creation of their hip-hop collection. With Cey Adams, he edited “DEFinition: the Art and Design of Hip-Hop,” a book published by Collins Design in 2008. In 2011, hip-hop posters from Adler’s collection were exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art as part of a show entitled “Looking at Music 3.0.”
Joe Conzo, Jr, co-author of Born in the Bronx, has been documenting the people of his native borough since the 1970s. As the first graduating class of South Bronx High School, Conzo came up as the official photographer for the Cold Crush Brothers at the dawn of Hip Hop. From the school gymnasiums to the local Police Athletic League, Conzo documented the first generation of DJs and MCs as they invented an art form that brought the creativity of the streets to the world. Joe Conzo Jr. continues to lecture, meet with young people, exhibit his work, and attend international events.
SenYon Kelly is the CEO/Founder of Nubian Video Archives & Collectibles. She is an Advisory Board member, Co-Curator of [R]Evolution of Hip-Hop Exhibit and works with the Museum Collections & Archives Committee for the Universal Hip Hop Museum. SenYon, is a native of Los Angeles who developed a love for film and music at an early age. She owns the licensing to the original artwork of Jimi Hendrix, is a serial entrepreneur, investor and curator, with a love for hip hop culture, music, film, art, fashion and interior design. Ms. Kelly has production credits for – Roots: Celebrating 25 Years – NBC and Jewel’s Catch One on Netflix.