Posted March 29, 2018 by Editorial Staff in Art+Culture

The New Hip-Hop Exhibit at Oakland Museum Demands Respect

oakland hip hop
oakland hip hop

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Pictured Above: Entrance to the Style portion of the exhibit, featuring a tapestry piece by Kehinde Wiley. Photo courtesy of the Oakland Museum of California.

Opening this weekend, the exhibit showcases the cultural significance of this century’s newest art form

“It’s the energy here,” photographer Amanda Sade said about Oakland and its creative vibrancy. “People in this town really want to do their own thing, be entrepreneurs, live the lifestyle they want to live. It’s just in the air.”

Sade’s current series is just part of the Oakland Museum of California’s newest exhibit, Respect: Hip-Hop Style and Wisdom, which opens this weekend and runs through August, her photos a hyperlocal slice of the vibrancy and expression that move through the entirety of the on-display collections. Her images capture the people and scenes of the streets of Oakland, her subjects mainly fellow Oakland creatives — musicians, photographers and artists — who pushed and inspired her in what has been only her first year behind the camera.

This collaborative and encouraging spirit is crucial to the world of hip-hop but an aspect that had never received a lot of attention due to much-maligned stereotypes around the genre. But it’s on full display in Respect.

OMCA opens its tour through hip-hop’s historical and cultural significance with the Dojo room, a highly interactive space where participants are encouraged to learn by doing, regardless of skill. Two massive video screens play popular rap and hip-hop videos in front of a microphone where you can sing or rap along. A table full of record players and beat pads encourages you to try mixing your own music or creating your own beats. A very enthusiastic series of dance videos plays along the back wall next to a small sign that reads, “Come dance with us!”

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