Hip Hop happenings draw crowds at City College

Cultural and educational Hip Hop events on campus are popular with students.


Brian Mohler

Professor Rubalcaba uses deejaying to help teach practical mathematics to students.

Brian Mohler, Arts & Entertainment Editor

You can get bigger than hip hop, but you can’t get much bigger than Hip Hop — the former is a music genre, the latter a cultural movement.

Hip hop surpassed rock as the top music genre in 2017, according to Nielsen Music, and the culture is influencing younger generations across the globe.

Hip Hop happenings at San Diego City College draw large crowds and educate students on social justice and the liberal arts.

Math Jam with DJ Professor Shadow

Dr. Rob Rubalcaba, an associate professor at City College who is also known as DJ Professor Shadow, uses hip hop to teach mathematics. Rubalcaba’s Math Jams bring a large group of students and tutors together for learning and fun.

Rubalcaba shows students how practical mathematics can be by utilizing something students are already passionate about — music.

The first Math Jam of the spring 2019 semester will be held today 6-10 p.m., but students can get there at 5 p.m. for free Pi Day pizza and pie. Future Math Jams will take place on April 24 and May 15.

“Dr. Rob’s performance is always cool,” said Dylan Morse, a former student who now works as a tutor in the Math Center. “Math has all kinds of uses.”

Morse is planning on transferring to SDSU to continue studying math.

“I liked when (Rubalcaba) played Quincy Jones,” said Janet Chavez, a sustainable urban agriculture student.

Chavez has eclectic tastes when it comes to music. She enjoys harder hip hop artists like Brotha Lynch Hung and LSD, a Chicano rapper from Riverside. But she’s also into Swedish death metal like Amone Amarth, Janis Joplin, and jazz.

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Timothy Jones HipHopEd Discussion

The ¡Subir! Cultural Center will be hosting Timothy Jones before the Math Jam today from 3-5 p.m. in AH 509 for an informal rap session.
Jones, a prominent writer and an ordained minister, is the Hip Hop Scholar in Residence at Columbia University’s Teachers College.

On Friday, Jones will be hosting a HipHopEd workshop from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in MS 140.

HipHopEd is remixing education and according to its website, hiphoped.com, “HipHopEd is an organization that brings together a community of educators and scholars who challenge traditional educational systems to value the power of youth culture and voice.”

Jasiri X on The Evolution of Black Art & Activism

Hip hop artist poses with students, faculty and college president.
Brian Mohler
After Jasiri X’s performance, he took pictures with Umoja students, faculty and City College President Ricky Shabazz.


During Black History Month, City College hosted Pittsburgh-based Hip Hop artist and civil rights activist, Jasiri X.

The artivist emceed The Evolution of Black Art & Activism event at a super-packed Saville Theatre filled with City College and high school students.

His message focused on how people of color are seen differently in society, especially in the media and the judicial system.

Jasiri X closed the event performing his politically conscious song “The Whitest House” with a music video playing on the screen behind him.

City College public information officer Cesar Gumapas, a hip hop fan with beatboxing skills to prove it, said Jasiri X’s performance was amazing.

“He was using his platform to showcase social justice for a younger generation,” Gumapas said. “It was a nice treat for our students and the high school students who came to the event.”

Rubalcaba, who was also in attendance, added, “there was a lot of consciousness in his lyrics.

“He talked about the control that certain people have over the industry like the CEO of Universal, and who decides what gets produced and what gets air time.”

Jasiri X critically examined recent cases in hip hop such as beefs, the imaging used to sell records, and legal issues for popular artists like 21 Savage, Tekashi 6ix9ine, Bobby Shmurda, Meek Mill, and the local case of Tiny Doo and former City College student Aaron Harvey.

Jasiri X also discussed the reasoning of why black lives matter, biased advertising, his anti-violence movement 1Hood and how a new UCLA study shows socially conscious hip hop is more popular.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOUngNcUjeg[/embedyt]