Students of Hip-Hop Legacy
The Students of Hip-Hop legacy is a collective based in Williamsburg, Va. Like many collectives, the group was founded a bit unconventionally. In the case of SoHHL, starting a club on campus at the College of William & Mary led way to what has become a movement.
The club meets once a week where the group has discussions surrounding hip-hop. Discussions like “Can you separate an artist from their art or art from an artist?” which came in the wake of unsigned rapper xxxtentacion’s domestic violence charges. Discussing issues that hip-hop faces is often a discussion topic as well. The meeting does consist of less controversial discussions too about what music everyone is listening to, and new artists that everyone likes.
(Head’s Up: We recorded this episode in person, using live video equipment, so the sound is off a bit, mainly when I chime in to ask questions.)
Beyond the weekly meeting, the club aspect, the collective reaches beyond the limitations a school may provide. The group often puts on shows, hosts speaking events, and participate in community service with Project Phoenix and Lafayette Kids where they teach kids how to make music. As mentioned in the interview, the club produces mixtapes, and sells merchandise too.
Watch one of the dopest off the dome freestyles of the year here.
Most importantly, the SoHHL kids strive to create an environment where people feel comfortable, a place of belonging. This is where Eze highlights an example of an employee on campus that found support in the SoHHL community. SoHHL is authentic, its not career driven, or resume focused its passion focused. The members genuinely want to spread the love of hip-hop and pursue their passion in the genre.
SoHHL is authentic, its not a career driven club or resume focused, its driven by passion and focused on creative expression. The members genuinely want to spread the love of hip-hop and pursue their passion in the genre.
Cole breaks down his creative process for generating verses, for him it’s a continuous process one that cant be turned off. He writes versus down as they come to his head, but never sits down to consciously write lyrics. Emmanuel is the opposite, he sits down to methodically write, when 100% of his attention is focused on rhymes.
Eze says he makes music for himself, if he likes it then that’s all that matters. It’s his expression. Check out his dope hip-hop blog here for more of his insight.
Filling in the Details
Ryan “Cole” Ross mentions Studio 2. The College has sound-proof recording studios that students can use, studio 2 is a special studio that requires training to use. Basically its SoHHL’s studio. Equipped with sound boards, key board, special microphones and more it’s a music producers dream. All the creative geniuses of SoHHL have access to the studio and spend most of their free time there.
A Cypher- written or freestyle off the head verses, no theme, everyone just comes together. Almost like a poetry slam. After one of the first Cypher’s an international student named Constantine created a beat that was the base for a SoHHL collective song, bringing together 7 or 8 artists on one song. From there, the club took off. The students started going to the studio after meetings, working on music projects together. It became more than just a club and more than an impactful support group, it was a hip-hop collective.
“its all about being true to yourself and doing what you want to do”
“I cant hate anybody who changed my mood”
“you have to be your harshest critic”
Emmanuel loves YouTube “if you just spend a couple months liking things that you like, they will give you so many recommendations for up and coming artists”
Links and Resources
SoHHL on SoundCloud
Eze’s hip-hop blog Yudorva
Stay up to date with SoHHL on Facebook
Some songs Emmanuel found before they blow up
Lovin the Dough by Chojiii
Caroline by Amine
Rich Chigga by Dat $tick
Im in love with the cocoa by O.T Genisis
Handheld GPS by Rexx life Raj
Hassan Brown- black royalty clothing.
Meridian Coffeehouse- Williamsburg, Va
The EDM Club at William & Mary
WCWM– local radio station in Williamsburg, Va
Troy Davis and the Reeder Media Center and its founder Charles Reeder
Favorite Artists right now
Chance the Rapper
The miseducation of lauryn hill
The seven day theory
The cool by Lupe
Kush & OJ
Long Live ASAP
Logic by Apple
AT4040- Audio Technica (microphone)