Delaware Students Serve As Rap Ambassadors Overseas

At one time, Bassline Entertainment was just a loose collective of children who spent their lunchtime banging on tables and freestyling rap lyrics. Now, however, the 10-person group (six boys, four girls) is spending a week in England serving as hip-hop ambassadors.

At the invitation of a university in Sheffield, Bassline, which formed at Talley Middle School in Wilmington, Delaware, will perform songs from their 2003 independently released EP and speak on their experience in the group.

“They’re looking to these young people [aged 13-16], who are presenting a more authentic form of the art form,” Tony Anderson, a twenty-six-year-old doctoral student and president of Vizionary Productions, told Anderson, a student at the University of Delaware researching hip-hop pedagogy, assisted with the formation of the group. He also produced their album.

The Bassline group, which comprises rappers, signers and dancers, are scheduled to speak on hip-hop culture in the U.S., as well as their refraining from incorporating negative aspects of hip-hop into their music, among other things.

Anderson cites Lauryn Hill as the inspiration for Bassline Entertainment. It’s because of the former Fugee, the children choose their content carefully. They make positive music, but with depth and spirituality, Anderson said. “And their doing it in a non-corny way,” he affirmed. “We’ve done shows where people have been in tears.”

As a way to thank Hill, Bassline Entertainment recorded “Ode to Lauryn,” a tribute song based on an interpolation of “Nappy Heads.” The track will appear on Medicinal Music, a compilation album to be released by Anderson at the end of April.

Bassline Entertainment is currently in England for the week visiting London and Manchester, in addition to Sheffield.