Humanz of Hip Hop
Varsha Ramdihol, Writer, Radio FWD
Dale Samuel, Video Editor, Radio FWD
Hip-hop today is more than a genre of music. From its conception in the 70s, hip-hop evolved into an artistic movement that combined lyrical rhymes with urban sounds. It birthed popular musical talents such as Tupac Shakur, A Tribe Called Quest, Kendrick Lamar, Missy Elliott, Beyonce and so many more. Hip-hop has afforded many artists the opportunity to share their talent, culture, and experiences with the rest of the world. What originated from the United States, by black and African American folks, has since grown into a global sensation.
In Canada, especially Toronto, artists from all cultural backgrounds continue to contribute to the hip-hop scene. From Drake and The Weeknd, to more underground hip-hop rappers like Houdini, KILLY, AR Paisley and Lil Berete, our hip-hop culture boasts some of the most popular talents in the industry to date.
“Hip-hop is more than just music, more than just a culture,” Randell Adjei said. “It’s a lifestyle at the end of the day.”
As the founder of R.I.S.E Edutainment, Adjei’s work with arts and leadership helped to transform his life from rock to gold. Adjei, along with other influential figures hailing from Toronto, joined together for a ‘human library’ at UTSC. As Humanz of Hip-hop, Adjei, Axel Villamil, and Glendale Reyes were among the few ‘books’ people signed-out.
For Reyes, hip-hop and dance were the driving forces for many of his professional opportunities. From the moment he listed ‘breaking’ at the top of his resume, Reyes said he found more job prospects than from his YorkU degree in Kinesiology and Psychology alone. “I really believe that confidence and creativity are the two biggest gaps in education today,” Reyes said. This is why his goal for H4 Community is to build the confidence and creativity of youth through hip-hop, dance, and leadership.
On the other hand, becoming an entrepreneur was not a linear process for Villamil. Also a UTSC alum, Villamil found a way to combine his passions for dance, design, and technology. “I found the phrase ‘doer of all, master of none’ was something that actually motivated me,” Villamil said. “I used everything that I learned, and all of my talents, to learn how to innovate.” By synthesizing his talents, Villamil was able to create a million-dollar app called Stagekeep.
Whether your passions lie within music, dance or even technology, it’s clear that hip-hop looks different for everyone. Learn more about Adjei, Reyes and Villamil’s journey with hip-hop.