Founded in October, a group of freshmen decided to start Hip-Hop Club – a place where students get together and experience the genre in an engaging way.
According to the Hip-Hop Club student organization page, the club was conceived as an ode to the hip-hop genre and now serves as a place for students to nurture their love for the genre by talking about different songs, artists and albums. .
Jacob Kogan, a first-year biology student and the club’s main leader, said the idea for the club came from listening to talk about the hip-hop genre, and he realized there could be have a place to feed the discussion.
Ben Walls, a freshman computer science student and treasurer of the Hip-Hop Club, said the club’s first meeting was a success and he looks forward to his plans for future meetings.
“We did a thing called the ‘battle vs.’ where we compared two very popular rappers – we did Kanye [West] against Kendrick [Lamar] — and it actually got pretty hot,” Walls said. “As for future encounters: versus battles, freestyle competitions, presentations on different subgenres, artists, albums.
Kogan said that in addition to his future plans, he hopes to use the club’s impact to do something bigger.
“Going forward when the club starts to grow, obviously we’re just at the beginning, but we want to start raising money for this non-profit organization called Hip Hop For Change,” said Kogan. “It kind of breaks down the barriers of social justice between underrepresented and historically marginalized communities. So he’s breaking down those barriers using hip-hop as a vehicle.
Kogan said joining the club doesn’t require any prior musical knowledge, as the people who came to the first meeting all had different hip-hop backgrounds – some with a lot of knowledge and some with less.
“There were some, like one of the members — and he ended up being the judge of our battle against — had never heard a Kanye song or a Kendrick Lamar song,” Kogan said. “You don’t need any experience, anyone can come and you’ll enjoy it.”
Walls said he wants people to know the deeper meaning of what hip-hop really is and hopes people consider joining the club to learn more about it. He said some might view all rap as aggressive or violent, but might enjoy other subgenres if exposed to them through the Hip-Hop Club.
Since the idea for the club was made in the middle of the semester, Walls said the founders planned to wait until the spring semester to start it, but were all so eager to create and grow a community that they have decided to start right away.
“We were going to, like, push back the spring semester and just, like, start it then when we could do the implication fair,” Walls said. “We realized that we wanted to start as soon as possible and get going, even though we only had seven people when we first met.”
Kogan said club management is still working out a concrete schedule and updates on future meetings are usually sent out within the club’s GroupMe.
“For anyone who wants to join, everything, all information is sent through our GroupMe,” Kogan said. “All of our information, where the meetings are, like all the updates on the meetings we’re going to do, in the future, etc., is all in GroupMe.”