UCC Transbordagem: Hip Hop Overflowing Workshop

Jan 18, 2024 | Events

Granary Theatre, Sunday 4 February 2023, 1 pm

Theme: Space, Memory and Decoloniality in Contemporary Hip Hop: A dialogue between artists and scholars
In the first edition of UCC Transbordagem: Hip Hop Overflowing Series, rap artists as well as leading Hip Hop and memory scholars from UCC are brought into a dialogue on topical themes such as political memory, identity in the diaspora, and cultural hybridisation. Themes, all underpinned by the endeavour to end persistent legacies of colonial injustice, will emerge both in the performances of the invited Hip Hop artists and in the subsequent panels consisting of scholars and the artists themselves where open dialogue rather than paper presentations will be the principal working method. The invited artists produce multilingual rap lyrics, with languages (French, Spanish, Portuguese, English and Irish) playing a crucial role in finding their voices as artists and people from diverse backgrounds in postcolonial Europe. We have invited top intercultural Hip Hop crews and artists residing in Ireland and Europe reflecting on topical issues in their life-changing art. There will be performances before, between, and after the panel discussions. The evening will culminate in an open interaction where scholars, artists and the audience at the Granary Theatre will be able to participate in informal exchanges. The event is free, but must be prebooked via Eventbrite.
Performers/ speakers of 4 February workshop:
  • 0phelia aKa Ophelia McCabe
  • Craic Mob (Otaku Black, Farid Williams and Mike G as panellists)
  • Gustavo “Gusmão” Souza Marques
  • Milton Gulli
  • DJ: Jus Me
  • Open Mic surprises…
  • Moderating: Janne Rantala, Noreen Kane, J. Griffith Rollefson (MC)

13:00 Welcome and Opening words of organisers: J. Griffith Rollefson, Caroline Williamson Sinalo, Janne Rantala, Louisa Esther

13:15 First Performance: 0phelia & Craic Mob solo act

13:30- 15:00 I Panel: Ancestors and predecessors: Hip Hop production and political memory (Milton Gulli, Gusmão, Farid Williams – moderator: Janne Rantala)

15:00-15:15 II Performance: 0phelia & Craic Mob solo act

15:15-16:30 II Panel: Spitting the parole: the role of colonial languages in finding one’s own voice (0phelia, Otaku Black, Mike G – moderator: Noreen Kane)

16:30-16:45 Break

16:45-18:00 Main Performance, DJ and Open Mic: Craig Mob, 0phelia and surprises

Moderated panels start with 7-minute initial contribution from each panellist and will be followed by moderated discussion. The objective is to foster an open dialogue with the public rather than share ready made presentations.

UCC Transbordagem Hip Hop Overflowing Series organises interdisciplinary and buzzing events that will bring together rap artists as entertainers and postcolonial intellectuals from diverse backgrounds as well as leading scholars from varying academic disciplines where Hip Hop knowledge is set to overflow. Following the experience of UCC CIPHER’s involvement in organising I International and Interregional Conference of Mozambican Hip Hop in Maputo in April 2023 and several smaller workshops of this kind, the idea is to provide spaces for unique entertainment and cutting-edge scholarship by creating a direct dialogue between rappers, Hip Hop producers, and researchers respecting each other’s particular ways of knowing and reflecting the world. The central objective of the encounters is to create accurate, decolonised and unpretentious knowledge, which will result in quality publications, create connections and enhance culture.

“Transbordagem” is a new word that Gustavo and Janne developed synergising two extant Portuguese words ‘transbordamento’ and ‘abordagem’, meaning roughly ‘overflowing’ and ‘approach’, respectively. Therefore, the word ‘transbordagem’ has multiple and continuously expanding meanings starting from overflowing to approach to boarding a new field of inquiry; a trans(un)disciplinary approach, if you like. Just like rappers’ words, rhymes and thoughts flow in hip hop music,  why can’t they even overflow in multiple directions? It is indeed our objective to make Hip Hop knowledge transgress barriers through trans(un)disciplinary academic knowledge. Indeed, ‘abordagem’ from ‘transbordagem’ also recalls marine battles, for instance when pirates approach and board (abordar) merchant and/or imperial ships to steal, hijack, loot, liberate, or burn them. Not by chance, Hip Hop is a non-conforming culture, which includes street dancing, sampling, painting public walls without permission, independently distributing mixtapes and piracy in its ethos. It might also remind us of  the Portuguese, ‘sabotagem’, the Brazilian MC Sabotage, and the Beastie Boy’s classic track ‘Sabotage’, a part of our minds’ soundscape. Finally, and subconsciously, transbordagem also contains the word ‘gem’ which is a key concept of the CIPHER project and method. Maybe just like pirates looking for treasure we are also looking for the hidden/encoded gems of Hip Hop knowledge so that we might amplify marginalized voices.  Protect ya Neck!

  • Department of Music / CIPHER/ POME-RAPMOZ
  • Department of French
  • The Memory, Commemoration and Uses of the Past Research Cluster 
  • Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies
  • Hosted by UCC’s Centre for Arts Research and Practice (CARPE)

Panellists’ and performers’ bios (in alphabetic order)

0phelia: Dublin-born, Cork based 0phelia aKa Ophelia McCabe is an independent underground HipHop MC, producer, and educator. She has opened for and collaborated with international hip-hop artists since 1999 (Ice Cube, Tony Allen, Maverick Sabre, Sage Francis, Pharaohe Monch, De La Soul, Captain Africa, Larame, and Ultramagnetic MCs among others). 0phelia is completing an Artistic PhD in the CIPHER Project in UCC and is the creator of PakAnimal, experimental song creation space. 0phelia’s passion for playing in bands and collaborating has made many meaningful connections within Ireland’s music community: PakAnimal, BassNeeds (2018), CoCo Baguettes (’16 – ’18), Mixtapes From The Underground (’06 – ’16), Mindsets (’10 – ’16), Ophelia & Redsquare (’06 – ’10), Scribble Sound System (’07 – ’10), DJ Moschops (’03 – ’09), Exile Eye (’00 – ’03) – Producer. 0phelia has a deep love for youthful expression. She dedicates her energy to facilitating young people in finding their voice. She has been working and developing skills in various, bespoke and regular, educational contexts since 2006. She works with GMC beats, The Kabin Studio Cork, YWIC, Music Mashup, Music Generation Cork City, and Cork Midsummer Festival. Ophelia facilitated a youth rap group in LINC lesbian and bisexual community centre in Cork. Instagram: @0_phe_lia

Craic Mob is a hip hop crew based in Cork, Ireland, bringing together MCs and producers with African, Caribbean, Mexican, and European heritage. In 2021, they released their first album Prehistory and, in 2022, their second EP L’An 0 came out. Irregularly, they release independent singles from “Wicked sessions” and organise local ‘Rap Invasions’, for which they collaborate with international and national rappers and DJs, too. Their productions are multilingual, mixing mostly French, English, Spanish, and expressions from their respective cultures. Among their most popular songs are “Attieke”, referring to a dish from Ivory Coast, and “Respire”, a song about the mixture of languages and genres within Craic Mob, contrasted in the music video shot against the typical Irish landscape. However, despite Craic Mob living cultural hybridisation and diaspora, they make clear in their songs that they’re mainly here to “forget about the stress […] and people vibing with the music sentimentally” (De L’Or, 2022). Their latest EP is King of Hearts by MC Lozza (2023), and a new EP by MCs Otaku and Azouuu is in the making. These feature individual styles, different themes from their walks of life, and a range of home-produced beats. Instagram: @craicmob

  • Otaku black: Originally Mauritanian, Otaku Black was born in Germany and raised overseas. He was exposed to HipHop at a very young age listening to various styles and genres of rap.
  • Mike G: “My name is Mikel but better known as MikeG, born and raised in the streets of Mexico city. My first interaction with music was freestyling in the park with my friends and after that I just can’t help rhyming even when I am alone”.
  • Farid Williams: “Farid Williams!! Born in Algeria, raised in France. Grew up with a dad listening to a lot of jazz that’s why I’m  mostly sensitive to 90’s boom-bap. I started guitar when I was 15 y.o, attracted by reggae music. I started rap in 2011.”

Gustavo “Gusmão” Souza Marques is an ethnomusicologist, drummer and tireless beat maker who is currently producing MC Luka’s new album and next singles (MC Luka is one of the most successful old school rappers in Mexico). Gusmão is also known for being a drummer of former live Hip Hop band Julgamento from Belo Horizonte city. On his YouTube channel, he successfully released the MF DOOM with Black Sabbath mashup which reached more than 14k views so far. www.YouTube.com/manuvahrecords

JusMe: Obsessive record collector, turntablist and party rocker JusMe began DJing at the end of the 1990s. He got his start battling as a Hip Hop DJ before moving on to promoting shows through the Hobo Convention and Cuttin’ Heads Collective crews, with a focus on championing forward-thinking Irish artists. Owner of one of the city’s deepest and most diverse collections of rare records, JusMe’s sets run through a range of genres including Soul, House, Disco, Afrobeat, Latin Grooves, UK Garage and more, all cut up in his unique, skill heavy style. Jus currently holds down residencies in the Crane Lane, Bru Bar, The Pav, Cask, Vicarstown, and the Roundy while also playing regularly at venues and festivals around the country. Over the years Jus has handled warm-up sets for international artists such as Mobb Deep, The Pharcyde, Macy Gray, Grandmaster Flash, The Gza, The Invisible Skratch Pikilz, Peanut Butter Wolf and Footwork legend Traxman to name a few.  Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jusmehobo/ 

Milton Gulli is a Musician (Cacique´97, The Grasspoppers, Simba & Milton Gulli, Cool Hipnoise, Philharmonic Weed), Producer and Founder of Kongoloti Records. Also a DJ when he feels up to it! From Mozambican descent he was born and raised in the suburbs of Lisbon, Portugal and has lived in Saudi Arabia, Madeira Island and Mozambique. Milton Gulli is an artist deeply immersed in the Lusophone sounds, and Lisbon’s contemporary African music scene. His first project Philharmonic Weed started in 1997, releasing the EP Capital Som (2003) and the album Primeiro Mundo (2007), graciously mixing reggae, funk, soul and African music with conscious lyrics and a very activist attitude. In 2005 he was invited to be the lead singer for veteran Portuguese funk soul band Cool Hipnoise, recording the band´s last album with the same name (2006) and the radio hit “Brother Joe”. In the same year he and musician/producer Gonçalo Oliveira founded the still active 12 piece afrobeat orchestra Cacique´97. This collective released two albums Cacique´97 (2009) and We Used To Be Africans (2016). He was also seen exploring dub, reggae and hip hop with The Grasspoppers artistic crew. In Lisbon he has been invited to play with Prince Wadada, Kimi Djabaté, Mercado Negro, Marcelo D2 and was featured in many albums from artists like Rocky Marsiano, IZEM, Cabrita, Sam The Kid, Sagas, XEG and others. He has lived in Mozambique from 2011 to 2020, where he worked with the rapper Simba on the acclaimed british label BBE´s release The Heroes – A Tribute To A Tribe, a Mozambican tribute to a A Tribe Called Quest and, at the same time helping to produce Azagaia´s Cubaliwa for Milton´s newly established independent label Kongoloti Records. In Maputo, Milton has produced albums for Deltino Guerreiro, Ras Skunk, Spirits Indigenous and coproduced Granmah´s debut album and also played with Azagaia, Simba, DRP, TP50 and many others. He has composed the soundtrack for the Mozambican film Resgate/Redemption, available on Netflix. His music has always been for the people and about the people. Empowerment of the underprivileged, equality, justice, education for all and a world without borders. His debut solo album Quotidiano was released in March 2022!!

Some sneak peeks…