Expand your knowledge and learn about Hip Hop’s rich history and global cultural currency with these informal talks with food and friends.
Welcome to the Hart House Hip Hop 101 Café. Whether you’re a sneakerhead or a novice, an emerging fan or an old school expert, we’ve got a Hip Hop conversation for you!
Hip Hop 101 Café is a space created for students to come together and explore how Hip Hop infuses all parts of our everyday culture. Peer-and community-led conversations in this space will leave you with a deeper appreciation of a shared community and a greater understanding of how Hip Hop culture continues to influence our world.
Everyone is welcome. Bring a friend and drop-by. Refreshments will be served.
Special Guest Facilitators
Salman Rana (YLook)
Lawyer and Hip Hop Artist
Salman Rana (YLook) is a member of Toronto’s Hip Hop community and is a founding member of the artist collective, The Circle, along with artists Kardinal Offishall, Saukrates, and Choclair et al. The Circle is largely credited with having globalized Toronto’s Hip Hop sound throughout the 1990’s and the first decade of the 2000’s.
Salman is a doctoral candidate at McGill University’s Faculty of Law, where his work explores the intersection of youth subcultures, law and normativity in both state and non-state/unofficial contexts. He is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School and the University of Oxford.
As a lawyer, Salman works in the cultural industries representing artists, musicians, and writers. He has lectured on youth cultures, the sociology of law, law and social change, legal research methodology and cultural studies of law. His broader legal research interests intersect with his interests in civil society & legal education, critical legal pluralism, subcultures, childhood studies, Islam and international human rights law.
Before graduate work, Salman articled with the Ministry of The Attorney General’s Office of The Children’s Lawyer (Ontario) and was a field researcher in Kampala with the Ugandan Law Society. He has also worked with children and educators in Istanbul, Turkey.
hip-hop artist, spoken word poet, speaker, band leader, writer and DJ
Jon Corbin is a Canadian hip-hop artist, spoken word poet, speaker, band leader, writer and DJ based in Milton, ON. Since 2001, first under the name The Runaway, Jon has blessed stages big and small with lyrical themes of faith, love, family, social justice, and personal growth.
Corbin is a veteran artist who has quietly carved a niche in Canada’s hip-hop community, collaborating with multiple Polaris Music Prize nominee Shad, Juno Award winner Caroline Brooks of The Good Lovelies, and many other revered emcees on both sides of the border.
As a speaker, Corbin speaks passionately on topics of identity, race and racism, mental health and community connections. As a musician, Jon provides a dynamic show that stays true to the basic tenets of hip-hop: peace, love, unity, and having fun!
Hip Hop Education at Hart House will support our values of representation, collaboration and social justice to explore and provide platforms for key principles of hip hop and its importance in our everyday culture on all three campuses. Recognizing hip hop as a powerful global influencer, Hart House seeks to create unique opportunities for students and community to engage hip hop education and artistic expression.
For this session
Big Daddy Kane's track Ain't No Half-Steppin' signs off with the line, “As-Salamu Alaykum". Kayne West's Sunday Service performances blur the line between performance and worship. Tupac Shakur was described as a deist; preaching a Ghetto Gospel while at times contradicting and embracing theological values.
These are just three examples, but time and again we see Hip-Hop expressing itself through themes of faith and spirituality. In Hip-Hop, the Word on the street can be as powerful as the sermon from the Mosque or the Church; Prophets and Apostles revealing themselves on the page and over the microphone.
Yet these theological expressions aren't easily categorized. It continues to be a complex, nuanced, and hard to define relationship. Verses referencing faith and God cozy next to bars that also exalt hustlers and crime. Sin and redemption are sometimes present in equal measures.
For this sure to be heavenly Hip-Hop 101 Café, join us as we unpack and investigate these unique expressions of faith and spirituality throughout Hip-Hop culture. Peace! (be upon you).