Page 1

Cinderella: The Remix directed by coya paz

The Theatre School at DePaul University Chicago Playworks Production April 20th to May 27th, 2017 Dramaturgy by Yasmin Zacaria Mitchel

Table of Contents introduction and brave and space agreement ……………………3 about the playwright……………………………………………………4-6 the hip-hip trilogy cycle…………………………………………………6-9 global context: fighting oppression with expression …………10 fairytale genre………………………………………………………………11 themes ………………………………………………………………………11 adaptations of Cinderella ……………….…………………………12-15 history of hip-hop………………………………………………………15-18 hip-hop as resistance …………………………………………………19-32 character building/inspiration………………………………………22-23 referenced artists: profiles……………………………………………24-25 additional resources……………………………………………………26-27 coloring inspo ……………………………………………………………27-31


Introduction and brave space Welcome to your Cinderella: The Remix zine! Here you will find dramaturgy magic and resources regarding everything hip-hop and Cinderella. If any other questions or concerns arise during this journey, feel free to voice them! This is an open collaboration and a brave space. Although the world of Hip-Hop Hollywood exists in the constraints of a children’s show, this does not mean all the issues and topics on the table with be easy going. There are specific moments in our script that reference trying times such as race and freedom and sexuality and gender presentation. We must approach these topics with an open mind and an understanding that we are all always learning.

When establishing a brave space in our process, I would like to set the following precedents: 1. Respect • showing consideration to each other with the fact that everyone has dignity as a person 2. No personal attacks • there is a difference between respectful challenges and blatant disrespect 3. Controversy with Civility • as opposed to agreeing to disagree, which can shut down conversation • different points of view are honored with group commitment to understand the sources of disagreement 4. Intent vs. Impact: • Our intentions behind saying or doing something does not always match the impact it has on others • Positive intentions do not trump negative impact; aim to understand why what we said had the impact it did 5. Challenge by Choice • Everyone will determine for themselves if and to what degree they will participate in the activity, and this choice should be honored by all • We ask you to be brave, but if you decide not to fully participate we encourage to ask yourself why not 3

About the playwright Psalmayene 24 (Gregory Morrison), is the playwright of Cinderella: The Remix. He is also an actor and director. He grew up in Brooklyn, New York in the mid to late 1970s when hip-hop was emerging. He grew up as hip-hop evolved and witnessed the different pillars of the culture: DJing, emceeing, graffiti, and dancing. When it comes to his unique identity as an artist, his name sets him apart. Interview with Psalmayene 24, Manny Strauss (2012) MS: When did your involvement with hip-hop start? Psalm: As I was growing up [in Park Slope in Brooklyn] in the mid to late 70’s, hip-hop was also growing up and evolving. At block parties I would see people break dancing, they’d take out cardboard and I’d see people spinning on their heads, and I would also dance and join in. In school, kids would bang out beats on the lunch room table. It just seemed natural to me. But then I realized that all of these things, the graffiti that I would see on the trains going to and from school, was part of hip-hop culture and then it evolved into this global phenomenon. It was fun. MS: After starts in film and dance at Howard University, what made you move to acting? Psalm: I’ve always loved to act, ever since that excerpt of Annie [that I did in grade school]. The experience of being on stage was just so thrilling that I knew that it would be something I had to do again. In junior high school, I was in my first full length play, which was Our Town. I played George and that was a great experience. My drama teacher said, “Okay, I think you should go ahead and audition for the school of the arts.” At the time I was actually scared and I hadn’t figured out that this was what I wanted to do with my life, so I went to Midwood High School (alma mater of TV’s Emmanuel Lewis and Woody Allen). We also did Sing! Each class puts on a musical and there’s a competition. I was a part of that for two years, and that is when I really knew that performing arts would be a huge part of my life.


MS: Hip-hop theatre is described as a genre unto itself. Do you think it’s a separate form of theatre, or is it just theatre? Psalm: I would call it theatre. There are arguments for both. In terms of marketing, I can see the benefits and the drawbacks of calling something hip-hop theatre. In terms of describing a working aesthetic, calling something hip-hop theatre gives people a general idea of the form that you work in, but there are also different interpretations of it, different definitions of it as well. I would just put it under the umbrella of theatre. Part of my mission is to illuminate the infinite creative and artistic potential of hip-hop. When you say hip-hop, most people think of just rapping and generally very basic, offensive, rap. In terms of the creative potential of it, I don’t feel like it’s been mined – especially in theatre. It’s just as valid and can be just as expressive as ballet, or opera, or any of these other musical forms. MS: You were part of a hip-hop band, you act, you direct, you write…is any one of them a sweet spot? Psalm: It depends on what mood I’m in. Sometimes I love the seclusion and the privacy of writing because you’re by yourself, you’re with your thoughts, you get the opportunity to really grapple with your own demons, and learn about life. At the same time, I love the camaraderie and the community of being an actor and being in a cast. On the other hand, there are times when I really love directing and just being part of the creative process. I appreciate each one of those different things, that’s why I’m now doing all three at the same time. MS: Do you find that they build on each other? Psalm: Definitely. Having been an actor first has helped me with my writing, and the directing has helped me as a playwright. I can visualize things on stage and troubleshoot as I write drafts. MS: Why hip-hop for kids? Psalm: It was created by kids. That’s their culture now, that’s the language, that’s the rhythm that they speak in and move to. That’s going to feel very comfortable and familiar to them. Because there’s music, there’s dance, you have the rhyming in it too, it’s so chock full of creative energy that it’s a great way to really grab their attention and captivate them and hopefully through the actual story itself, we can take them some place worthy. MS: Where do you see the future of hip-hop? Psalm: Theatre is where hip-hop is going to find a solid home. If you look at the past few years, Broadway is slowly starting to embrace it – like In The Heights. Things are just about to erupt. The lava is boiling and the volcano is about to burst. Once it does, regional theatres are going to have to get on board with it because the audience is. The audience that appreciates hip-hop is going to become the audience that is willing to 5

buy tickets. Not only in terms of what they aesthetically appreciate, but also in terms of what is going to work for them from a marketing standpoint. It just makes the most sense. Theatre is way behind the music [in terms of embracing hip-hop], but it’s along the same path, so eventually theatre will catch up. MS: So, the question that everyone asks you: Why the name? Psalm: It’s just a way to define myself, as an artist. It’s so important to define your work and have a clear vision of your work for yourself, and to have a clear vision of who you are in this world. It’s something that you create. So, in that spirit, I chose the name Psalmayene 24, and there were a series of steps that I took to actually get to that full name. I used to do open mikes, and I had the idea of each time I would do an open mike to change my name. I said that I would go ahead and use the name “24” and after I said, “I actually like it.” I didn’t change my name again after that. As I started to write more songs, the idea of “Psalm”, you know, the book in the Bible, sort of resonated in me, and the fact that my believing that songs -- and what you write and create -- it’s a spiritual act, it’s a sacred act. I took the “Psalm” and added the “ayene” on the end of it and put it all together.

The Hip-hop trilogy cycle Psalmayene 24 wrote a trilogy of children’s plays that includes Cinderella: The Remix. He calls it a Hip-Hop cycle, as reported on by Celia Wren (Washington Post): The trilogy is the brainchild of Psalmayene 24, a playwright who is considered one of the pioneers of hip-hop theater, and who has also worked as a performer. (He appeared in HBO’s “The Wire” and Arena Stage’s “Ruined.”) In 2007, Imagination Stage artistic director invited Psalm (as his colleagues call him) to write a hip-hop children’s show. Game for the challenge, Psalm chose to do a hip-hop spin on the traditional West African trickster character known as Zomo. To help build the piece, he turned to the Hernandez siblings, with whom he had worked in an Arena Stage communityengagement program called Props 4 Hip Hop. Growing up in Baltimore, Paige and Nick Hernandez had been hooked on hip-hop at an early age. From this first moment of collaboration, Psalmayene was inspired to write a trilogy of Hip-Hip children’s plays aimed at providing an outlet for diverse representation on stage and empowerment.


Zomo the Rabbit: A Hip-Hop Creation Myth (2009) A wily mash-up of West African folklore, elementary hip-hop theory and modern-day Washington know-how, the hero, Zomo, is a rappin', boombox-toting version of a traditional West African trickster character. When some fellow critters dis this bunny, he makes a cellphone call to the Sky God to request a gift of power. The deity, a stressed out yoga addict, agrees, on the condition that Zomo steal the most treasured possessions of Big Fish, Wild Cow and Leopard. The playwright has cleverly aligned the talking fauna with four staples of hip-hop culture: Fish is a break dancer, Cow a graffiti artist, Leopard a DJ and Zomo a rapper. But the script's dialogue is so breezy and personality-rich that the creatures never seem mere symbols. When Zomo infiltrates Leopard's penthouse by posing as a delivery guy bearing a termite-and-beetle pizza, she boasts to him about her pad (it's been featured on MTV's "Cribs") and her rĂŠsumĂŠ. "I'm the DJ," she asserts. "World-champion turntablist. I like to think of myself as a musician of the highest order. Up there with the likes of Beethoven, Mozart, Kanye West, players like that." "Oh, and you're humble, too," Zomo deadpans. That compassion is better than power. That friendship and peace are worth sacrifice. And that art, as Zomo puts it, "glues" society together.


P. Nokio: A Hip-Hop Musical (2012) As the director of “P.Nokio,” as well as its writer and star, Psalmayene 24 repeats the trick, teleporting us to the realm of Hip-Hopia, where people pay bills in street credits and boomboxes can be the size of city blocks. One of Hip-Hopia’s residents is G.Petto, a computer game designer who creates a screen-transcending animated child named P.Nokio. Sent off to attend the Old School, P.Nokio willfully wanders past a Fork in the road (a silver-clad, texting-obsessed Fork) into the Forest of Fraudulent Fun, where he is bamboozled by con artists Fox Madoff and Cat Burgler. (The fox’s surname is just one of the tongue-in-cheek allusions that the show’s dialogue and witty rap numbers let fly. Further naughtiness in Gullible Lane saddles P.Nokio with donkey ears, but all ends happily, thanks to the intervention of the rapping, spray-painting Graffiti Fairy and, more important, P.Nokio’s real love for G. Petto.


Cinderella: The Remix (2014) Cinderella is a determined, young girl who always does what she’s asked of, but secretly dreams of being a DJ in Hip Hop Hollywood. There are certain things however, like spinning beats, that girls can just NOT do. Cinderella’s stepmom, Bad Ma’amajama, and stepbrother, Chocolate Ice, are quick to remind her of the consequences of ‘fronting’, pretending to be somebody else, are not allowed. When your reputation is what makes you hot in Hip-Hop Hollywood, pretending to be someone else is certainly not. But this does not stop Cinderella from mixing her fierce beats. When a famous rapper, J Prince, holds an audition for the next new DJ at his Jam, Cinderella takes advantage of the opportunity to do something big and different. She ‘fronts’ as a boy and auditions! Not only does she have the best audition of the day, she lands the gig! The promise of fame quickly comes at a price when Bad Ma’amajama orders Cinderella to stay home and do chores on the night of her big break. Forced to weigh her responsibilities against her family to her own desires, Cinderella must decide to follow the rules or pursue her passion for music. With help from her friends Chin Chilla and Hoperah, the entrepreneurial media queen of Hip Hop Hollywood, Cinderella may just find the courage and strength to settle the unfair rules of the hip-hop music industry once and for all.


Why here why now Fighting Oppression with Expression Think back to the strongest memories of your childhood. What stories stand out most? I am willing to bet imagination and pretending would be a dominant theme. Even as adults, we still cling to certain fairytale endings, where life is simple and singing is a preferred method of communication. Even so, we must keep in mind that there is great difference between types and origins of such tales—think Disney and the Grimm Brothers. In a world that currently seems to be in peril on a daily basis, fairytales and stories of our childhood can function as a refuge—but only if we keep productive action and social change in mind.

Cinderella: The Remix is a genre within itself, with its embracing of Hip-hop on stage for kids. This is a fairytale of self-actualization and empowerment. Cinderella is fierce in her determination to be a DJ, but she is also committed to changing such archaic laws for the entirety of Hip-Hop Hollywood.


Themes Your beat can make a difference. In Hip Hop Hollywood there was this totally wack rule that girls were not allowed to be DJ’s. Because of this rule, people missed out on hearing some sick talent, like Cinderella who could spin the flyest beats around! Cinderella was passionate about her music and worked her butt off practicing as much as she could in secret. She decided to challenge the bogus rules by dressing up as a boy and auditioning to DJ at JPrince’s jam. She wouldn’t let the system stop her from sharing her talent. She followed the beats within her heart and in the process changed the entire music industry! She made it so other girls could become DJ’s and share their music with the world. If you follow the beats within your heart and stand up for what you believe in you can change the world!

Sometimes it’s okay to break the rules. Rules help us determine what is right and wrong. They protect us from making bad decisions before we act on them. However, if there is a rule we feel is unfair, we have the power to say so! In Cinderella Remix, Cinderella has the desire to be a DJ but feels she has to give up on her dream as female DJs aren’t allowed in Hip Hop Hollywood. It isn’t until Chin Chilla points out how everyone deserves the chance to be a DJ that makes Cinderella realize that you don’t have to give into the rules. We all have the power to break the rules in order to create new ones that give everyone the opportunity to be treated equally.

Don’t let the haters tell you what you can and can’t do. Sometimes people will try to stop you from being yourself and doing what you love because they’re jealous, afraid, or just don’t understand you. Cinderella has a lot of people telling her she can’t be a DJ because she’s a girl. But what does it matter that Cinderella is a girl? She can DJ just as good as the boys, she’s actually better than most of them! Bad Ma’majama and Chocolate Ice try to hold her back because they are jealous of her skills. The whole city of Hip Hop Hollywood works against girls DJing because they are afraid of change. No one should ever stop you from doing what you love just because of your gender, race, religion, or whatever uniqueness makes you who you are. 11

Fairytale genre Fairy tales are fictional stories that have roots in oral traditions. These stories have been passed down by word of mouth across generations. Every culture has their own version of these stories, which feature folkloric characters like fairies, talking animals, and witches. In Scotland it is “The Princess and the Golden Shoes,” in China it is “YenShen,” and in the Native American culture Cinderella's story is known as “Tattercoats.”

Cinderella The Remix adds another dimension to this cultural exploration through Hip Hop. The beats contain poetry and contribute to the storytelling. Hip Hop empowers those it infects. These revitalized oral traditions are transformed through the use of rapping and rhyming.

adaptations of Cinderella as curated by Anne. T. Donahue Cinderella has come a long way from its origins as a tale about persecution and the dangers of systemic oppression. Dating back to the first century, what was once a story about a Greek slave girl becoming an Egyptian queen has evolved into something much more magical, romantic, and ultimately supernatural. (If there's another word to describe talking mice, I'd like to hear it.) In fact, the versions we know now are based on pieces of a story that is relatively recent in the grand scheme of literature. Charles Perrault's late 17th-century tale Cendrillon (or The Little Glass Slipper) laid the groundwork for Disney's 1950 animated film, with both plots revolving around a young girl who, after being forced into servitude at the hands of her stepfamily, is ultimately rescued by a prince. But, the thousand years that fall between the first version of Cinderella and 2015's liveaction film have allowed for countless stories that have many striking similarities. In almost all versions, our heroine is stripped of power by her stepmother and escapes only by marriage to a royal (minus the version where Cinderella kills her stepmother, straight up). Men, magic, and mayhem: the three constants. (Including the version in which Cinderella is forced to eat her own toe.) 12

Of course, there are reportedly 345 to 1500 versions of Cinderella in rotation, so we've only had the chance to explore a small part of the fairy tale's legacy. That being said, we stepped out of our pumpkin-coach confines to bring you some of the most famous versions that you might not be familiar with. Just a word of warning: Some of the fairy tales ahead are fairly emotionally scarring. And, not all have a happy ending.

France This is where it all began (as we know it). Written by Charles Perrault in 1697, Histoires ou contes du temps passÊ, Cendrillon is the tale Disney and friends initially drew from. Revolving around a young girl whose abusive stepmother and stepsisters force her into servitude, this version saw the introduction of the pumpkin, the fairy godmother, and the glass slipper. (Which still seems like a nightmare to wear.) The "cinder" element essentially came from Perrault, too. Since our heroine awoke every morning covered in ash from the fire, she was given the nickname by her terrible family. And, the similarities don't stop there since Disney's 1950 classic adopted almost every aspect of the story. The only differences? The songs, the cat named Lucifer (seriously: why?), and Cinderella's DIY dress being ripped apart by her stepsisters — who, in Perrault's world, go on to marry lords after apologizing for being the worst.

Egypt Forget everything you've ever known about fairy tales: Rhodopis, the first version of Cinderella, actually originated in first century BC/AD (and, is also believed to be loosely based on a real person). Written by Herodotus and adapted by Greek historian Strabo, it went on to appear in Aelian's Varia Historia in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, then showed up again in the 1800s in various fairy tale books. However, unlike the stepmother storyline we all know and tolerate, Rhodopis is a young Greek girl who's been kidnapped by pirates and sold into Egyptian slavery. And, while her master is kind, the fellow slaves are not, so she befriends animals before finding herself in fancy shoes in the Pharaoh's court. (Who, of course, she ends up with — but this time, by decree of the gods.)


China Written between 618-907 AD, Yeh-Shen first appeared in the T'ang Dynasty, and preceded the European Cinderella by a millennium. It's also dark: In addition to the stepmother killing Yeh-Shen's only friend (a fish), said stepmother — and her daughter — are crushed to death in a shower of stones. (Yikes.) On the bright side? YehShen goes on to meet and marry the King, thanks to the spirit of the fish, and the magic of fish bones (the fish is a symbol of prosperity).

Italy In a posthumous 1634 edition of Il Pentamerone, Giambattista Basile's La Gatta Cenerentola(or The Cat Cinderella) came to light and redefined "not appropriate for children." In this tale, a governess encourages Zezolla to kill her stepmother, which backfires when the governess becomes stepmother #2 and brings her own six daughters into the home. Zezolla is banished to the kitchen and loses her given name, becoming Cenerentola. That is, until magic prevails and she charms the prince at the traditional soiree, and they're reunited afterward thanks to footwear.

Germany In 1812, the brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published Kinder-und Hausmarchen, which is where Cinderella first made her appearance in Germany. This time she was Aschenputtel (translation: "Ash Fool"), a girl who loses her mother, braves the abuse of her stepfamily, then cries so much at her mother's grave that a magical trees grows there. Fortunately, that tree helps outfit Aschenputtel for the ball, where she meets her prince and loses her shoe. When the prince comes to their home, the stepsisters each try to fool him — one cuts off her toe to make her foot fit in the shoe, the other cuts off her heel. The prince notices all the excess blood, and eventually Cinderella is found. (And, then birds peck out the stepsisters' eyes at the wedding, and they go blind forever.) 14

Russia Similar to Germany's dramatic version, Russia's folktale of Baba Yaga and Vasilisa (written down in the mid-1800s) is a little more adult. Centered around a girl named Vasilisa, it sees its protagonist sent to a witch (Baba Yaga) by an evil stepmother (who assumes Vasilisa will die). Surprise! She thrives instead, despite the witch's hut made of human bones. Vasilisa survives her brush with death and reunites with her dad with the help of a magic doll. (But, not before Baba Yaga severely abuses the cat whose only job was to kill Vasilisa and — you guessed it — scratch out her eyes.)

United States True, the 1950 movie borrowed heavily from the French story, but Disney's animated Cinderella was actually an answer to post-war culture and fashion, by acting as a guide to the New Look. Ultimately, on top of making the film more kid-friendly by piggybacking on the magic animals found in Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, it was ultimately a marketing tool, dictating the merits of consumerism since Cinderella's dress was based on designs by Dior. Who would've thought Disney had an agenda?

Native American Taken from 1884's The Algonquin Legends of New En gland and 1894's Legends of the Micmacs, The Hidden One is a folktale that arguably varies the most from Cinderella — especially since there's more of an emphasis on morals than on revenge. In this story, a warrior named Strong Wind can make himself invisible, which he does to test the truthfulness of the women who'd like to marry him. This time, he meets three sisters, two of which lie and say they can see him (when they can't). However, the youngest — who they've abused out of jealousy — tells the truth, so she and Strong Wind end up together.

West Africa Chinye: A West African Folktale (written in 1994 by Obi Onyefulu and illustrated by Evie Safarewicz) offers a reprieve from the dude-on-a-marriage-mandate by revolving around a young girl named Chinye, whose stepmother sends her to fetch water in a dark, scary forest. Fortunately, Chinye's patience and good heart prevail, leading her to treasure in the woods (and through that, financial freedom from her greedy stepmother and sisters). Chinye then goes on to live a great life and help others with her newfound riches — which totally beats a glass shoe and prince, right? 15

History of hip-hop

“Even if you didn’t grow up in the Bronx in the ‘70s, hip-hip is there for you. Hip-hop binds all of these people, all these nationalities, all over the world together. Hip-hop has always been about having fun, but it’s also about taking responsibility. And now we have a platform to speak our minds. Millions of people are watching us. Let’s hear something powerful. Tell people what they need to hear. How will we help community? What do we stand for? What would happen if we got the hip-hop generation to vote, or to form organizations to change things? That would be powerful.” -DJ Kool Herc

What is Hip-Hop? A music, history, art, and culture lesson (Education World) The culture, music, and lifestyle known as hip-hop began in the Bronx in New York City. At house parties and community centers DJs mixed songs from different records together. They started extending short drum breaks into longer dance mixes by switching between record decks. Bronx DJs experimented with touching and moving vinyl records with their hands. They also used electronic sounds coming from other places, like Europe. A famous example is Afrika Bambaataa’s use of Kraftwerk’s 1977 Trans-Europe Express. In 1973 DJ Kool Herc DJed his first party in the South Bronx. The South Bronx was a poor neighborhood isolated from the rest of New York. One factor in this isolation was construction of the Cross Bronx Expressway, which created a scenery of rubble in neighborhoods it ran through. Young people of color found their own way to make these bleak surroundings positive and beautiful. They spray-painted and danced on cardboard they laid on the ground. Hip-hop parties were positive alternatives to gang violence. Kool Herc, who became known as the father of hip-hop, formed the basis of hip-hop music by experimenting with instrumental breaks of funk, soul, and R&B songs. In the following years hip-hop pioneers such as Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Flash, and Grandmaster Caz start DJing at parties across the Bronx.


The story of Afrika Bambaataa—for example, his lifechanging trip to Africa that resulted in his name change and his efforts to transform the South Bronx community—shows how the emergence of hip-hop is connected to identity, race, and place. Reformed gang member Bambaataa defined the four elements of the hip-hop scene. The four elements of hip-hop culture are: •

DJing – The art of spinning records at a dance party, picking out songs in a

crowd-pleasing sequence. Also the art of touching and moving records with your hands. Cutting (using volume control to drop in a section of music from one turntable into music from another turntable) and scratching (the sound a DJ makes by putting his hand on the record and rubbing the vinyl under the needle in time with the music) are two popular DJing techniques. Breakdancing – A style of dancing that includes gymnastic moves, head spins, and backspins. Young people who were into dancing to the breaks at Bronx parties started calling themselves B-boys and B-girls, and their style of dancing came to be known as breakdancing. B-boys, B-girls, and members of the Zulu Nation made breakdancing popular. Graffiti – Visual art, an expression of youth culture and rebellion in public spaces. The first forms of subway graffiti were tags, or signatures of someone’s nickname or crew (group of artists that work together). It has evolved into elaborate scripts, color effects, and shading. MCing – MC are initials for “master of ceremonies.” MCs originally hosted parties and introduced tracks to the dancing audience. Eventually the term was used to describe rappers. Rapping is the art of saying rhymes to the beat of music. It comes out of the African-American oral tradition of using rhyming language to ridicule your friends or enemies in a clever way. In the early 1970s, this developed into street jive, a type of half-spoken, half-sung urban street talk. Rapping also has roots in Jamaican toasting, a type of lyrical chanting.

Bambaataa also formed the Universal Zulu Nation, a hip-hop awareness group that organized cultural events for youth. The group was an alternative to gang activity for many young people. Over time, the Zulu Nation has spread internationally as a hip-hop awareness movement guided by certain spiritual principles. The Sugar Hill Gang recorded the first popular commercial rap recording, “Rapper’s Delight,” in 1979. This song was many Americans’ first brush with hip-hop.


In the 1980s the hip-hop scene expanded and entered the mainstream in the U.S. Kurtis Blow, Grandmaster Flash, Public Enemy, and NWA released albums. The first West Coast rap albums came out. The films "Wild Style" and "Style Wa rs" were released. Def Jam Recordings was established. Two big steps in making hip-hop mainstream were RunDMC’s release of its version of Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way” and the group’s nomination for a Grammy. MTV and the radio started to have rap-specific programming with "Yo! MTV Raps!" and "Mr. Magic’s Rap Attack" on the New York FM radio station WHBI. Two noteworthy women in the hip-hop world in the 1980s were Wendy Clark (Lady B) and Queen Latifah. Clark is one of the earliest female rappers in hip hop, and one of the first to record a studio album. She began her career with the WHAT radio station in 1979, and recorded her first single later that year, "To the Beat Y'all". Latifah signed with Tommy Boy Records in 1989 and released her debut album All Hail the Queen the same year, featuring the hit single "Ladies First". Her second album, Nature of a Sista (1991), was her final album with Tommy Boy Records. At the end of 1980s hip-hop started getting some negative press. Politicians and media personalities painted a picture of commercial hip-hop as music that taught immoral values. In the 1990s gangsta rap, a type of rap that describes life in inner-city neighborhoods, became commercially popular in the U.S. Even though many people criticized it, this music spoke to youth who could identify with its themes of anger, rebellion against authority, and apathy. Companies who could profit from young consumers caught onto this trend and linked up their products with popular rap music. Some hip-hop fans see the commercialization of hip-hop music as selling out and compromising hip-hop’s original message. Breakdancing, rapping, scratching, and graffiti art all became part of youth culture’s vocabulary. Looking at the roots of hip-hop, we see a powerful example of human creativity. A group of deprived kids managed to create an entire culture and art-form with the limited resources they had.


hip-hop as resistance Movers and Shakers for Social Justice Kuumba Lynx: Chicago TeenExpression" Hip-Hop Theatre "Liberation Through Artistic "Liberation Through Artisticto Expression" Kuumba Lynx is committed the lives of youth Kuumba Lynx is committed to the lives of youth using urban art and performance to cultivate using urban art and performance to cultivate strong communities built on a foundation of strong love. communities built on a foundation of love. @kuumbalynx


Sol Patches is a Chicago actor, writer, and rapper who uses they/them pronouns. They began their career in Chicago's theater and poetry scene, and released their first mixtape As2Water Hurricanes at the end of June 2016 on SoundCloud. They are heavily influenced by Chicago's queer latinx and black femme culture through their theater and poetry involvement. @solpatches Kristiana Rae Colón, one of Chicago’s Def Poets, is a graduate student at the School of the Art Institute Chicago. Born and raised in Chicago, she has been writing and performing for six years, and recently produced her first original. She toured Chicago with Grammatical Era and London with the WordWide poetry slam team, which featured at London’s first inner-city youth slam. 19


Amina Norman-Hawkins is an internationally recognized voice of grassroots hip-hop activism. She is a writer, performing artist, filmmaker, and hip-hop practitioner who has spent the past 15 years involved in the preservation of Chicago’s hip-hop culture and community. She is cofounder of Chicago Hip-Hop Initiative & Chicago Hip-Hop Heritage Month, as well as the ‘B-Girl Power’ movement, an international all-inclusive celebration of women in hip-hop. @AminaAyo

Frank Waln, or Oyate Teca Obmani (Walks With Young People), is a Sicangu Lakota rapper. The winner of 3 Native American Music Awards, both alone and with his group Nake Nula Waun. Waln grew up on the Rosebud Indian Reservation and first began listening to hip-hop as a teenager. After dropping out of a pre-med program at Creighton University, where he was a Millennium Scholar, Waln moved to Chicago and began releasing music. His first solo album, Tokiya, is expected to be out at the end of 2017. @FrankWaln @FrankWaln47 Fronted by MC’s Rodstarz, and MC/Producer G1, Rebel Diaz shows the true global power of Hip-Hop. After first performing at an immigrant rights march in New York City in 2006 in front of a half million people, the bilingual crew has taken the international community by storm with their explosive live shows. With influences ranging from Chicago house to South American folk, Rebel Diaz combines classic boom bap tradition with HipHop’s global impact. @RebelDiaz 20


Aisha Fukushima is a Singer, Speaker, Educator, and ‘RAPtivist’ (rap activist). She founded RAPtivism, a global hip hop project spanning 10 countries and four continents, highlighting the ways culture can contribute to universal efforts for freedom and justice by challenging oppression with expression. She is a multilingual, multiracial African American Japanese woman whose work is influenced by her global upbringing with roots. @aishafukushima

Che “Rhymefest” Smith is a humanitarian hiphop artist, writer, activist, political organizer, and teacher. In 2005, Rhymefest won a Grammy for co-writing the song “Jesus Walks” along with Kanye West. In 2006, he released his critically acclaimed “Blue Collar” album on Clive Davis’s J Records. Through his music, Che has broken glass ceilings and negative stereotypes about hip-hop. Web @RHYMEFEST (El Che) Rhymefest Chance the rapper is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, and record producer, from the West Chatham neighborhood of Chicago. Apart from his solo career, he is also a member of the Chicago collective Save Money, and has worked as the lead vocalist for the band The Social Experiment. They released the widely lauded album Surf in May 2015. @chancetherapper 21

Character building & inspiration If seeking further character sketches, below you will find quotes from artists that share qualities, moods, or traits with the characters in our script.

Cinderella: Missy Elliot I know that some people shy away from what I say. They think it is too blunt, but when you don't give people that, they feel like you are being fake and you're not telling the truth. So it's like, you want me to tell the truth, but when I do, it's too much for you. Music should be your escape. Its funny, because for females in general not just in music, but the corporate ladder as well - anything we do has always been harder for us. When it comes to music, the industry wants you to conform, to look like this and to sound like this and do this or that. It makes it harder. It's harder for us to come out and be bosses and lead the pack.

Chin Chilla: A Tribe Called Quest Your whole appearance is a lie and it could never be true. And if you really loved yourself, then you would try and be you. If you're not honest with yourself, how the hell are you gonna be honest with me? I'm all about the fans.


J Prince: Throwback Kanye I feel like I'm too busy writing history to read it. I refuse to accept other people's ideas of happiness for me. As if there's a 'one size fits all' standard for happiness. I really appreciate the moments that I was able to win rap album of the year or whatever.

Hoperah: Queen Latifah (Dana Owens) A lot of people are crazy, cruel and negative. They got a little too much time on their hands to discuss everybody else. I have a limited amount of energy to blow in a day. I'd rather read something that I like or watch a program I enjoy or ride my damn motorcycle or throw back a couple of shots of tequila with my friends. When I look into the future, it's so bright it burns my eyes. When I was around 18, I looked in the mirror and said, 'You're either going to love yourself or hate yourself.' And I decided to love myself. That changed a lot of things.

Chocolate Ice: P. Diddy (Sean Combs) I don’t say it in a cocky way, but I take pride in being one of the best at doing what I do. I just want to be happy. You know what I’m saying? I just want to be happy, and I want to be able to make somebody else happy. I think that’s good that I have to watch how I act and what I say. I think that’s a part of growing up. 23

Artist references Kenny G (page 5) Born: 1956 Raised: Seattle, Washington Known for: musician, soprano saxophonist, songwriter Relevance: biggest-selling instrumental musician of modern era, global sales totaling 75+ million Best known: contemporary jazz, smooth jazz: Six of Hearts

Quentin Tarantino (page 13) Born: 1963 Raised: Knoxville,Tennessee Known for: directing, writing, acting Relevance: non-linear storytelling and pop culture references Best known: Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs

Chuck D (page 13) Born: 1960 Raised: Queens, New York Known for: rapper, activist, political hip-hop Relevance: leader of Public Enemy, produces politically/socially conscious hip-hop music Best Known: Public Enemy, Prophets of Rage

Dana Owens/Queen Latifah (page 26) Born: 1970 Raised: Newark, New Jersey Known for: rapper, singer, songwriter, actor, model Relevance: 1989-2002 made car eer by rapping about issues of black women, first female hip-hop recording artist to get nominated for an Oscar Best Known: Ladies Fresh, Flavor Unit, Living Single, CoverGirl

Dr. Nas (page 35) Born: 1973 Raised: Brooklyn, New York Known for: rapper, songwriter, record producer, actor Relevance: underground beginnings, poetic sage, one of the MTV listed greatest MCs Best Known: Illmatic (1994), Life is Good (2012)


Amelia Earhart (page 46) Born: 1897 Raised: Atchison, Kansas Known for: aviation pioneer and author Relevance: first woman to fly solo across Atlantic Best Known: early aviation records

Frida Kahlo (page 46) Born: 1907 Raised: Coyocan, Mexico City, Mexico Known for: self-taught painter Relevance: paints herself because she is the subject she knows best Best Known: self-portraits, surrealism, magic realism

Mick Jagger (page 39) Born: 1943 Raised: Dartford, England Known for: singer, songwriter, actor Relevance: frontman of Rock & Roll, portrayed as counter-culture figure Best Known: Rolling Stones, Satisfaction, rock ‘n roll

Shonda Rhimes (page 58) Born: 1970 Raised: Chicago, Illinois Known for: director, television producer, screenwriter Relevance: Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How to

Get Away with Murder


Additional resources Caro, Robert A. "The City-Shaper," originally published 5 January 1998 in The New Yorker. Chang, Jeff. Can’t Stop Won’t Stop. DaveyD’s Hip Hop Corner. PBS Independent Lens, Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes. About Hip-Hop Timeline. Issue Brief: Hip-Hop. Temple of Hip Hop. Zulu Nation.

Books, Articles and Films

Arnold, Rick., Bev Burke, Carl James, D’arcy Martin, and Barb Thomas. 1991. Educating for a Change. Toronto, ON: Between the Lines and the Doris Marshall Institute for Education and Action. Bell, Lee Anne, Barbara J. Love, and Rosemarie A. Roberts. 2007. "Racism and White Privilege Curriculum Design," in Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice. Routledge. Bynoe, Yvonne. 2006. Encyclopedia of Rap and Hip-Hop Culture. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press. Caines, Jade. 2007. "It’s All about the Benjamins: The Marriage between Hip Hop, Adolescence, and Consumerism," in The Hip-Hop Education Guidebook Volume 1. New York: Hip-Hop Association. Chang, Jeff. 2005. Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-hop Generation. St. Martin’s Press. George, Nelson. 1998. Hip Hop America. Viking Press. Gore, Tipper. “Hate, Rape and Rap,” The Washington Post. 8 January 1990. 26

Kitwana, Bakari. 2003. The Hip-hop Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis in African American Culture. Basic Civitas Books. Rodman, Sarah. “Breaking Down Hip-Hop,” The Boston Globe. 17 February 2007. Spady, James G., H. Samy Alim and Samir Meghelli. 2006. Tha Global Cipha: Hiphop Culture and Consciousness. Black History Museum Press. “Style Wars.” 1984. Directed by Tony Silver and Henry Chalfant. “Wild Style.” 1983. Directed by Charlie Ahearn.


Coloring Inspo






Profile for Yasmin Zacaria

Cinderella: The Remix Resource Zine  

This is a resource zine for the children's Hip-Hop musical Cinderella: The Remix. This zine includes a history of hip-hop, adaptations of Ci...

Cinderella: The Remix Resource Zine  

This is a resource zine for the children's Hip-Hop musical Cinderella: The Remix. This zine includes a history of hip-hop, adaptations of Ci...