The Pace Report

Season 2011 Episode 07.18.11

The Pace Report: "The Shape of Hip-Hop to Come" The Cornel West Theory Interview

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Last week during Ghetto Metal at S.O.B’s, the hip-hop world was introduced to the next extension of where groups like Public Enemy, Boogie Down Productions, The Roots, and Rage Against the Machine have left off. The Cornel West Theory made their New York City debut after a grueling two years playing around their native stumping grounds of Washington, D.C. Named after the noted activist, writer, and Professor at Princeton University, Dr. Cornel West, these six musicians are a collective of a some of the most innovative artists and intellectuals in hip-hop music. The group consists of Rashad Dobbins, Yvonne Gilmore, Tim Hicks, Sam Lavine, John Wesley Moon, and Katrina Lorraine Starr. The guys met during the late 1990’s but became a group officially in 2004. The group chose the name The Cornel West Theory based on the band’s collective thoughts and philosophies of the noted professor. One day the group was trying to decide on what their name was going to be an all of a sudden “the Cornel West Theory sounded cool and innovative” adds John Wesley Moon, who’s also the band’s DJ. “Because we liked Dr. West and what he stands for, our music falls along the lines of his ideologies and where we were as a band.” One day, band member Tim Hicks waited at a book signing with Dr. West at a Borders Books in his native Washington, D.C. Hicks then asked him for his blessing to use his name for the group. But that didn’t come easy. Dr. West asked Hicks about the content and group’s vision musically. Convinced on the spot, the two exchanged info and later hooked up and recorded what would be their debut disc “Second Rome.” Dr. West performs on the record and is no stranger to spoken word projects. Over the last three years he’s been featured on artists recordings as diverse as jazz trumpeter Terence Blanchard and soul singer Raheem DeVaughn. “Second Rome” along with their latest mix-tape &ldmoreless

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