Monday, September 29, 2014

Coastal Virginia Magazine: Straight Outta Virginia

My feature article on the William & Mary Hip Hop Collection is now available for your reading pleasure at the Coastal Virginia Magazine website. 

That just doesn't sound right, does it - Hip Hop and William & Mary? Believe it, son. 

Find out how, in bucolic Williamsburg, the roots of Virginia rap are being studied, explored, collected and documented - the early days of Missy Elliot, Timbaland, Mad Skillz, Clipse, Pharrell Williams and more. 

Here's how the article, titled "Straight Outta Virginia," begins:

Kevin Kosanovich doesn’t look much like a b-boy. 
Instead, the College of William and Mary graduate student gives off the veneer of a brainy lacrosse player. Armed with a dry wit, the stocky 33-year-old Saginaw, Michigan native wears glasses, frequents cultural symposiums for fun, and says he’s getting too old to stay out late at night. In many ways, he’s your average white academic fellow living in AnyCollegesville, USA.
But Kevin K., as unassuming as he appears, possesses mad skills.        
The American Studies doctoral candidate can tell you all you want to know about the old-school break dance crews, cocaine rappers and hip-hop street teams of the Old Dominion. The roots of Pharrell, the early days of Missy Elliott, the beginnings of Timbaland, the down low on Danja ... this bespectacled redhead has got, or is getting, the knowledge.         
“How did Hip-Hop come to Virginia? That was something I was really interested in,” Kosanovich tells me as we prepare to enter William and Mary’s Earl Gregg Swem Library together on a 100-degree day in early July. “Who were the people who created this culture?”         

If I were you, I'd go out and buy the October issue of the magazine so you can see all of the cool pictures that accompany the piece, as well as CV Creative Director David Uhrin's awesome layout. But you can read "Straight Outta Virginia" by clicking right here.   

For more on the William and Mary Hip Hop Collection, go right here.

Photo of Kevin Kosanovich by the mighty Jim Pile.

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