Cultural Biographies told through hip hop


Danielle Kronau

Shaun Booth poses for photograph after his performance, Shaun Boothe: The Unauthorized Biography Series.

Danielle Kronau, Assistant Arts & Rec Editor

Students and faculty members  enjoyed an electrifying night in the Young Auditorium as they attended The Unauthorized Biographical Series Tuesday, Oct. 15.

The night began with an introduction by performer Shaun Boothe who explained what he did regarding his performance and told true but entertaining stories of cultural icons. To get the show started, the audience was launched into the biographical story of Muhammad Ali through hip hop as a floor to ceiling projector screen showed a documentary of the life Ali lived.

In between each biographical hip hop story, there were many moments where Boothe interacted with the audience by asking if anyone had heard of certain cultural icons and encouraging the audience to clap along with him as the performance went on.

Boothe is a motivational speaker and a hip hop recording artist who has been to many places around the globe where he shares his experiences with those who watch him perform.

“There are moments where I lose the sense of where I am. Maybe not ‘where I am’, but I just stop analyzing and I’m simply fully in the moment.  It’s fleeting, but those are the moments I chase. When I was a hip hop artist in the music industry it was all about the cheering and the loud applause. Now, it’s the pin drop silence that I enjoy  most. When people are really listening and engaged.  I love watching the wheels spinning.”

The first part of the performance was to celebrate the people who changed the world in some way through their actions. After a brief intermission, the second part of the show began and was to celebrate how some of these icons changed the world through music rather than through action.

Aaron Wesolowski is a Marketing Specialist with the Young Auditorium and had many things to say about the performance.

“Shaun’s motivational, high-energy, interactive approach, coupled with a documentary-style rooted in hip-hop, should resonate with students. Like a great history lesson…with a modern day approach and style that helps deliver the message in a truly memorable way.”

Once the performance was over, there was some extra time left for students to gather closer to the stage and talk to Boothe about his performance, ask him questions, and to comment on some of the ideas brought up in the biographical series.

McKenzie Neisius is a sophomore majoring in communication sciences and disorders who thought the event interesting, though she did not attend the question and answer session.

“I wasn’t sure what the concert was about, so it was very interesting to me to see how he used rap to explain different leaders and their accomplishments.  It was a great way to keep the audience interested,” Neisius said.

After the students and Boothe had conversations about his performance and how society can easily shape people, students were allowed the opportunity to take pictures with the performer.

Much was learned Tuesday night about diversity and how to live a legacy.

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