On Wednesday, April 24, 2024, DePauw University's Peeler Auditorium was buzzing as students and faculty gathered for a captivating panel discussion on hip-hop's history and global influence. Hosted by the History Department and the Justin and Darrianne Christian Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI), the event was a dynamic exploration of hip-hop's reach and impact across diverse cultural landscapes.

Professor Karin Wimbley from the English department kicked off the evening, introducing the esteemed panelists and setting the stage for a fantastic panel discussion. Professor Robert Dewey, Professor of History, took the audience on a journey through the hip-hop scene in New Zealand, unraveling its intricate ties to migration and indigenous influences. His insights illuminated the unique cultural blend that defines New Zealand's hip-hop identity.

Following Professor Dewey's presentation, Political Science Professor Deepa Prakash shifted the spotlight to India and South Korea, offering a glimpse into the vibrant hip-hop culture thriving amidst the countries’ diverse tapestry. Through engaging rap videos and witty comparisons with K-Pop, Professor Prakash underscored the distinctiveness of India's hip-hop scene while highlighting its universal appeal.

Meanwhile, Professor Aldrin Magaya of the History and Aricana Studies departments turned the focus to Africa and Zimbabwe, delving into the evolution of hip-hop within these rich cultural contexts. His exploration shed light on the dynamic fusion of traditional rhythms and contemporary expressions that characterize African hip-hop, serving as a testament to the genre's adaptability.

Throughout the panel discussion, one recurring theme emerged – the transformative power of hip-hop as a global phenomenon. From New Zealand to India to Zimbabwe, hip-hop undergoes many adaptations, blending with local cultures to spawn innovative expressions while retaining its core elements of rhythm, rap, and fashion.

Despite occasional technical glitches, the lively atmosphere of the event was further enhanced by moments of laughter. Attendees were enthralled by the engaging discussions and left with a renewed appreciation for hip-hop's cultural significance in today's world.

The Global Hip-Hop Panel at DePauw University reminded attendees of hip-hop's ability to transcend geographical boundaries and foster cultural exchange. As the evening drew to a close, attendees departed with a newfound sense of inspiration and appreciation for the global language of hip-hop.