American-invented hip hop music is now an international phenomenon with rappers in countries like Japan and Senegal. Kevin Kosanovich (College of William and Mary) traces hip hop’s roots, focusing on how it is expressed in different regions of our country, from California to New York, and even in Virginia. And: Rapper Tupac Shakur was gunned down in 1996, but his influence can still be felt in rap culture today. Poet Nikki Giovanni (Virginia Tech) shares her poem “All Eyez on U,” a tribute to the artist.
Later in the show: For teenagers dealing with substance abuse issues, talking about what they’re feeling can be a challenge. So music therapist Jim Borling (Radford University) uses rock and metal music to help them externalize their internal struggles. It may not sound like medicine, but Jim says music therapy is a powerful healing practice. Also featured: John Adam (Old Dominion University) is the author of a new book called X and the City, an entertaining romp through the urban landscape using mathematical modeling as a way to understand how cities work. John uses math to explain aspects of urban life from population growth to something called “taxi cab geometry.”