The Movement II
Friday, 7 p.m., free
Technocultural Studies Building (formerly the Art Annex)
On-campus hip-hop means more than an intro to hip-hop dance class or a lunchtime picnic with The Federation on the Quad.
SickSpits, the Davis spoken word group, will present The Movement II, a hip-hop themed collective performance including dance, spoken word and turn-tabling. The event will be held tomorrow at 7 p.m. in the Technocultural Studies building in the Art Annex. The event is free.
Tomorrow’s event, which started two years ago, is the first to be held on campus. Like the previous event, it focuses on celebrating art and hip-hop through performance.
In addition to SickSpits performers, The Movement II will host Sacramento rapper Random Abiladeze, the Cal Slam Team and the UC Davis Breakdance Club. Also performing is beatboxing champion Butterscotch, a Davis native who appeared on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent“ in 2007.
“We just want to showcase the different aspects of hip-hop, breakdancing, DJing and graffiti,” said SickSpits member Ruby Ibarra, a senior biochemistry and molecular biology major. “We felt that it’s very rare that there are hip-hop shows on campus.“
The hip-hop theme is a prominent link between the performances, and it is an integral part of spoken word itself. Moreover, the “underground” nature of socially conscious hip-hop, a genre from which slam poetry competitions and spoken word draw many influences, emphasizes an interest in social issues and concerns.
“Spoken word is an integral part of ‘hip-hop‘ culture as I define it, though spoken word certainly has roots in other artistic and literary movements as well,” said Elyssa White, a senior international relations and technocultural studies major, in an e-mail. “Spoken word is a useful addition to the hip-hop movement because it is one of the few components which has not undergone heavy commercialization, and thus continues to innovate freely in its capacity for expression.“
Ibarra voices world interests and concerns through rapping, many of which are derived from her education at UC Davis.
“I’ve always felt like Filipino Americans and Asian Americans in general have been underrepresented in the arts, more specifically in rap music and poetry,” Ibarra said. “After taking Asian American studies courses here at UC Davis, it’s really opened my eyes to the issues in the Asian American community, and with my poetry I hope to use that to spark discussion about those issues.“
White said that spoken word is a forum in which social issues and concerns are brought to light.
“Good spoken word poets – poets that move people with their words – write from what they know,” White said. “Especially because spoken word attracts a diverse selection of poets, [their] experiences represent the variety of complex American adventures, many of which open the door to creative social criticism.“
Like poetry, the written aspect of spoken word is often rooted in the foundation of the poet’s own expressions, concerns and thoughts. However, the performance aspect adds the element of delivery – an ingredient that many believe truly drives the connection between the speaker and the audience.
“I guess [spoken word] allows the performer to interact with the audience in a way [so] that no matter what they bring to the stage, they’re bringing energy and they’re bringing passion,” said Alex Gonzalez, a junior technocultural studies major. “That energy and passion serve as their greatest tools for talking about social issues or social justice.“
While the event is free, donations to the UC Davis Slam Poetry Team, a group separate from SickSpits, are encouraged.
“It’s going to be a really fun event, and the lineup that we have is incredible,” Ibarra said. “I’m sure everyone will find something they like about it. They’ll be left feeling inspired and empowered.“
The Movement II will be held Friday at 7 p.m. in the TCS Building. For more information, visit the SickSpits Facebook group.
JUSTIN T. HO can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.