Beatboxing at the Harvard Ed Portal

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Beatboxer and Broadway actor Chesney Snow, film producer Rich McKeown, and Hutchins Center Nasir Jones Hiphop Fellow Martha Diaz recently came to the Harvard Ed Portal in Allston for a screening of “American Beatboxer,” produced by Snow and McKeown. The show was followed by a conversation that spanned topics ranging from the relative prominence of beatboxing in the United States vs. Europe, to state arts education policy. It was a reunion for the group as Diaz, founder of the first-ever hip-hop film festival, had premiered the movie when it first came out. While reflecting on how the scene has changed, all three also agreed that more formal recognition of hip-hop and beatboxing in educational settings is essential to uplifting and spreading these creative arts across the country. The rapt audience engaged on these topics and commented on the film itself, expressing their surprise about the winner of the beatboxing competition depicted and asking the film team tough questions. It was an evening celebrating beatboxing as an art form and a way of community-building and the crowd left inspired to seek out more exposure to hip-hop in all its forms.