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Date of Award

Spring 2013

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Studies

First Advisor

Professor Seth Markle

Second Advisor

Professor Janet Bauer

Third Advisor

Professor Zayde Antrim


In 1984, hip hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa’s categorizes hip hop as “peace, unity, love, and having fun.” Today, this is what informs the mission of the Trinity International Hip Hop Festival, which was started by Magee McIlvaine and Jason Azevedo, students at Trinity College, in 2006 to combat disunity and violence at Trinity College and in Hartford. This festival consists of a weekend of events that embody the “positive” elements of hip hop culture. The 8th Annual Trinity International Hip Hop Festival was held in April of 2013. This event continues to be student-initiated and is currently organized by the Trinity Chapter of the Temple of Hip Hop, a student group on campus. This paper is a reflective evaluation of the programming at the 8th annual festival. It compares and contrasts the local and global representation from the lens of race, class, gender, and sexuality while also putting it in context of the larger hip hop movement.

This is accomplished through archival and autoethnographic research done by the lead student organizer of the festival, McKenzie Angelo, so this evaluation is written in an emic perspective. Given that the theme of this year’s festival is “What is Hip Hop? The Local as the Global” there is a wide range of representation at the festival that is both in concurrence and conflict. While the festival has a very clear mission statement that promotes unity and is undoubtedly an uplifting contribution to hip hop movement, it is significant that the organizing process and lived experience at the festival reflects many of the contradictions that exist locally and globally, in regards to identity, oppression, and visibility.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in International Studies. Full text access is limited to the campus only.