Rappers, Executives Gather For NYU Hip-Hop Festival

Hip-Hop Unbound, an aimed at bridging gaps and transcend cultural boundaries, launched last night with a "Planet Rock" panel discussion featuring the legendary Afrika Bambaataa.

The two-week extravaganza started on April 3 and is hosted by NYU's Clive Davis Program of Recorded Music and runs until April 15.

The event includes workshops, panel discussions and live performances, concluding with a set by Bay Area collective, The Coup.

"I'm glad I'm going to be involved in an event like this, it's important we look at the roots that Hip-Hop is coming out from," Boots Riley of The Coup told AllHipHop.com "It's important to realize that Hip-Hop is not just hip or fun, it comes out of a struggle and everyone can relate to that."

Expected participants include Fab 5 Freddy, Tommy Boy Records founder Tom Silverman, Popmaster Fabel, veteran journalists Danyel Smith and Sacha Jenkins, and The Coup.

The event is produced by Jason King, Associate Chair of the Clive Davis Program of Recorded Music and Rika Iino, CEO/Producer of Sozo Media.

The goal is to examine how Hip-Hop rose to

prominence and also to examine the spectrum of culture that Hip-Hop affects and the people that guided its development

"[Young people] have the power to change the world and all it takes is using the ones around you to change the individual struggle to a collective one." Boots urged, regarding the event.

For more information, visit www.hiphopunbound.com