"Akiem was AMAZING! He was down to earth and fun. Akiem allowed the kids to be hands-on which makes a huge difference in workshops/presentations like his. The topics changed while still remaining on the subject of hip hop. I personally enjoyed that he explained the concept of records and how they worked. He had different things to pass around the crowd which invited more questions, comments, and enjoyment."
-- Ms. Soldner, Madelia Public Library
DJ Kool believes that within Hip-Hop culture is an often misunderstood form of creativity, ingenuity, and originality which can be applied to any path in life. As a teaching artist DJ Kool attempts to communicate these practical lessons he has learned throughout his career in an inspirational, thought provoking and ‘cool’ exploration of history and technology.
Creating ornate and electric samples over rugged drum hits and 808 kicks, Kool Akiem’s productions have a signature feeling which provides musical excitement that doesn’t distract from the lyrics. Constantly reinventing his production and style, he has become a master of his genre.
Book This Artist
DJ Kool Akiem is a renowned DJ of 20 years, as well as a music producer and pioneer of the Twin Cities Hip-Hop community. As DJ and producer for the legendary Micranots, as well as DJ for MF DOOM, Kool Akiem has toured nationally and internationally, sharing stages with artists like Atmosphere, Public Enemy, KRS One, De La Soul, The Roots, Hieroglyphics, Grandmaster Flash, Jazzy Jeff, Mos Def, and many more.
DJ Kool Akiem teaching at MN Children’s Museum
On top of producing critically-acclaimed albums released on record labels like Rhymesayers Entertainment, Sub Verse, and his own Mental Madness Wreckords imprint, Kool Akiem has held DJ residencies in NYC and Atlanta (including a 3-year radio show on WRFG), and served as a beta tester for Serato Software which, along with his own inventive modifications of audio equipment, contributed to pushing the boundaries of DJ technology itself. Kool Akiem has also been featured in several books, including Five Percenter Rap by Felicia Miyakawa and Making Beat by Joeseph Schlosh. Currently, Akiem teaches The History of Hip-Hop at McNally Smith College of Music, serves on the COMPAS teaching artist roster, and mentors youth and emerging artists.
“The Art and Science of DJing” will give students an introduction to and ‘hands-on’ knowledge of DJ equipment, styles, skills, and vocational possibilities. This program is ideal for classrooms, youth events and walk-up or drop-in interactions.
Topics covered will be:
basics of physical sound, digital audio file types, and the legal/ethical questions of downloading music;
file preparation and song library management;
exploring genres of music and different approaches to DJing different types of music with a historical context;
understanding the professional possibilities one has as a DJ.
History of Hip-Hop DJing
Everyone has heard of “Rap” or “Hip-Hop” but not everyone understands the origins and roots of one of the most prolific and pervasive popular youth cultures today. This program is ideal for classrooms.
We will examine the emergence of:
The Four Elements;
important creators and innovators;
politics and ethics;
entrepreneurship vs. commercialization;
the divergence of styles;
and the flowering worldwide movement in the context of changing technology and new social media.
Creative ideas, stories, and news from artists and students across Minnesota, right in your inbox!