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African Delegation from State Department Visits with McNally Smith Hip-Hop Studies Department


McNally Smith College of Music was extremely honored to host representatives from the U.S. Department of State and a delegation of African hip-hop scholars from Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia and South Africa last week. As part of a national tour coordinated by the U.S. State Department, McNally Smith welcomed the delegation to campus for a visit with Toki Wright, the coordinator of the Hip-Hop Studies Diploma Program.

The visit was part of a larger trip, titled “Hip-Hop and Civic Engagement“. The group took a tour of the college facilities and had a long roundtable discussion with Wright, Dean Terry Burns and hip-hop studies instructors Nneka Onyilofor and Sean McPherson about hip-hop across the globe and what ways it has been and can be used to create more civic engagement.

The Hip-Hop Studies diploma program, the first of its kind in the country, was introduced at McNally Smith in 2009. Diploma candidates immerse themselves in hip-hop culture, technology, and business for three semesters. Students get closer to their goal through hands on experience and critique from industry professionals. Performance, production, language, music theory, history, and business are all included in the diploma program’s curriculum. The Hip-hop Studies department also offers a minor, available to students pursuing Bachelor degrees in any area.

For more information about the U.S. State Department exchanges in general please visit: