“Hip Hop: The Antioch Influence?


My name is Charles Arthur Williams. First things first, I’d like to thank the students of Antioch for the unconditional support given to me personally and for the respect, acceptance, and embrace to all walks of race, culture, and creed. I’d also like to thank Luke for asking me to write this article.

As most of us are well aware, the magnetic essence of Erykah Badu, one magnificent singer expressing every ounce of her manifestation of soul, performed at the golf course of Antioch College. Now, a lot of students have seen me practice my B-Boy skills around the campus. It started in the Common Room of Fess (Fesbop). Jennifer Parnel would often practice with me. She surprised me because she could do stuff I couldn’t do and do it well. What else surprised me was I didn’t expect anyone to consider break dancing at Antioch. I mean really, I just didn’t expect it. Years went by, Katie Andrews would film my progress. Not too long after that dance battles intrigued me, taking me to places such as Atlanta Georgia, Washington D.C., Portland Oregon, Seattle Washington, Dayton Ohio, and many other places. OK, what does this have to do with Erykah Badu? Well, that same night when she performed, I was blessed to grace the same stage alongside her. And I was able to present my B-Boy display in front of my people at Antioch College, where it all began. Big ups to School For the Def and Universal Spectrum. For those that don’t know, Universal Spectrum was and still is crew, a crew I use to do hip-hop shows with. School For the Def was a crew that did hip-hop shows such as the hiphop convergence, and mad shows in general. See, Antioch students have in a way, pushed me to continue my way of expressing hip-hop culture. Its been a blessing to have the likes of Jen, David Eagle, and now Tony, as well as a physical workout.

My point is now this. Sept. 9, 2006, those same students that give nothing but a loving hand to me were able to witness hip-hop in its truest and most humble, yet explosive form. Visions of the faces I knew, which were a lot mind you, helped to enable me to live hip-hop on stage next to Erykah Badu. Antioch students are an influence on hip-hop culture because they are an influence to me – and I am hip-hop! I am hip-hop because hip-hop is a culture that influences people to search themselves, test themselves, and find themselves. Hip-hop is education outside education grades K-12. Hip-hop is a study; it’s a particular path of life you walk on if it’s meant for you to walk on. Hip-hop is generations old. And, it needs to be respected. Hip-hop has been performed inside of Antioch, has been known to many graduates from Antioch, and has been extended from the birthplace in South Bronx to the little village university called Antioch College.