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Hip-Hop 4.0: African Hip-Hop Films


The Schomburg Center's Hip-Hop 4.0 Initiative is excited to partner with Nomadic Wax to present an evening of African Hip-Hop film shorts. Nomadic Wax is a U.S. based social enterprise that produces music, film and educational events aimed at creating cross-cultural exchange and increasing awareness of global issues. Founded in 2001 as a fair trade record label and production company of African hip-hop and urban music, Nomadic Wax has grown into an internationally recognized brand firmly rooted at the intersection of urban media and social change.

Film program: 
  • Nomadic Wax H-Town Hip Hop (Zimbabwe) 
  • SHOKO! Festival Documentary (Zimbabwe) 
  • Keyti: Poetry in the Street (Dakar, Senegal) 
  • UpMost- 'Lost for Words' (Zimbabwe) 
  • Youth Development Through the Arts: Nomadic Massive in Port Au Prince (Haiti)
  • Alesh: Reveil- The Awakening (Democratic Republic of Congo)

The films will be curated by Ben Herson, founder of Nomadic Wax. Ben will be joined by Larry Ossei-Mensah, Cheikh Oumar Cyrille Toure, and Amkoullel for a Talkback session after the Film screening.

Ben Herson is an internationally celebrated social entrepreneur, educator, media producer and published author. In 2001, Herson founded Nomadic Wax, a media and educational events production company that uses music, film and the arts to promote cultural exchange and social change. He is an experienced educator with ten years of classroom experience in New York City public and private schools and lectures regularly at institutions of higher learning (Harvard, MIT, NYU, Columbia and UCLA among others) and media conferences (SXSW, CMJ, Womex). Herson has screened his award winning films at film festivals and theaters internationally. Herson has been interviewed and featured on NPR, BBC, Billboard Magazine and the New York Times. He is also a consultant and media producer for clients that include MTV, USAID, US Department of State and the Institute for Private Investors.
Magee McIlvaine was born in Canada and grew up between East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia) and Washington, DC. While attending high school in DC, Magee won the Raiser Fellowship to produce a political documentary about the kingdom of Swaziland in Southern Africa. At the age of 16, he successfully gained access to the political elite, the opposition party, and even the King of Swaziland. This experience propelled him down a path of political and cultural exploration throughout the world with film as his medium. His work to date primarily focuses on the intersection of politics and the arts, especially the use of hip hop music and culture as a political tool. From Africa to Europe to South America, he has produced documentaries in some of the world’s most notorious urban areas. As co-director of the groundbreaking ‘Democracy in…’ series (Senegal, France, Haiti), as well as two political documentaries in Venezuela, Magee has developed one of the most extensive personal networks of grassroots arts organizations and youth artist-activists around the world. He conducts guerrilla filmmaking workshops around the world, and lectures regularly on grassroots hip hop organizing and youth movements in sub-saharan Africa. His work has been presented at institutions of higher learning, in the U.S. and abroad (Harvard, MIT, GWU, Georgetown, Wesleyan, University of Cape Town, among others) and at music and academic conferences (SXSW, NXNE, CMJ, ASA, Waga Hip Hop Festival in Burkina Faso, and more). He is also the co-founder of the Trinity College International Hip Hop Festival, an annual event (8 years and counting) that is the only festival of its size and kind in the U.S.
Larry Ossei-Mensah
Larry Ossei-Mensah is a seasoned writer, blogger, curator, digital marketer, and entrepreneur who has emerged as dynamic influencer for the rising creative class writing features and creating content for various publications such as Centric TV/BET, Arise, Uptown, and Whitewall Magazine about lifestyle, media, pop culture and contemporary art happenings. Some of his content includes profiles of actor Idris Elba, rapper/producer Swizz Beatz, visual artist El Anatsui, Mickalene Thomas and founder of Chinedu Echeruo.

Thiat (Keur Gui)
Cheikh Oumar Cyrille Touré (aka Thiat "Junior") is a rapper and social activist from Kaolack living in Dakar. He founded the group Keur Gui with his childhood friend Landing Mbessane Seck (aka Kilifeu). Thiat and Kilifeu founded the Y'en a Marre ("Enough is Enough") youth movement in 2011 which fomented Senegal's pro-democracy opposition in 2012 and which continues to fight for social justice and political accountability in Senegal.


Amkoullel (Issiaka Bâ)

Amkoullel is one of the most talented and ‘conscious’ Malian rappers of his generation. His stage name is taken from a novel by one of Mali’s most noted authors/historian/philosopher - Hamadou Hampaté Bâ – in order to pay homage to all African cultures. Actually Amkoullel was the nickname of his direct illustrious ascendant, from which he has also inherited the will and ability to harmoniously combine traditional and contemporary global cultures and to promote individual and social responsibility. As the leader of Hip Hop in Mali, Amkoullel is committed to keep this movement positive and respectful of traditional oral culture.