Khalid el-Hakim: Sonic Solidarity Interview

Dr. Khalid el-Hakim, historian, educator, and archivist, discusses his relationship to Detroit music and how he came to found the Michigan Hip Hop Archive.

Carleton Gholz   00:00    Sonic Solidarity is sponsored in part for the Michigan Council for the Arts and Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, our patrons at and listeners like you. Learn more about Detroit Sound Conservancy, browse hundreds of artifacts, oral histories, photographs, and recordings, and join our mailing list at  

Gholz   00:31    Greetings everybody. This is Carleton Gholz with the Detroit Sound Conservancy and I’m here with Dr. Khalid el-Hakim of the Black History 101 Mobile Museum  and Michigan Hip Hop Archive. Somebody who was raised in Detroit, but I’ll let him tell his own story. So Khalid thanks for being with us today. And maybe if you could just briefly tell our audience who you are and what is your relationship to Detroit music? 

Khalid el-Hakim Yeah, Carleton, I’m honored to be here. It’s always a blessing to be able to speak on, uh, music and Detroit and, um, my positionality in that. So, um, I was born and raised in Detroit.  

el-Hakim   01:15    On the Northwest side of Detroit. I’m a product of the Detroit Public Schools. I went to Verner, Beaubien, and Mumford. As a student in the public school system, Beaubien, Mumford, um, I had classmates who were phenomenal. When I think about, growing up, uh, uh, one the early female hip hop pioneers. Her name was Silveree Benson. She was one of my classmates who doesn’t get a whole lot of, um, uh, play and recognition, but the sister now, um, the last I heard she was a professor down at Spellman, but she used to do a hip hop conference called “The Bridge” and, um, which was, which was incredible. And she would bring down pioneers and, and do conferences. So it was really interesting that, um, our trajectory ended up being in education and, um, and being professors. So Silveree, uh, Gabe Gonzalez, the Funkster himself, was a classmate of mine, Frogger D, Dice, um, J to the D lived on Hartwell.  

el-Hakim   02:24    I lived on Snowden. Um, my brother Marco from Dopadelic  lived on Snowdon down the street from me. Um, the great director, uh, Christian Hill lived on Snowden down the street from me as well. So I in, um, uh, Len Swann lived a couple blocks away. So yeah, I, I grew up in a situation where, um, uh, hip hop was very much a part of our lives, you know, growing up in the golden era of hip hop. So yeah, Detroit Public Schools was, was my launching pad into undergrad. I went to Ferris State University, where I got my Bachelor’s degree in teaching, business education, social studies. After graduating from Ferris, I became a teacher in the Detroit Public Schools where I taught for 15 years. Not only in Detroit Public Schools, but also the Detroit Job Corps, and, um, taught me Detroit Public Schools. Um, I was a collector and still am a collector of, um, black memorabilia. And we’ll get into that in a minute, but just, you know, just some background, uh, born and raised in Detroit, Northwest Detroit. And that very much has informed my whole life.  

Gholz   03:45    Where are the boundaries of Northwest for you, when you were growing up?  

el-Hakim   03:52    So the boundaries of Northwest for me would have been, I would say Woodward to McNichols and McNichols probably to Greenfield and then down to Eight Mile. That, I think that was my point of reference. It’s probably, it’s probably a lot different than that, but just in my mind, growing up, that was Northwest,  

Gholz   04:23    You know, the Blue Bird, where Detroit Sound Conservancy is trying to make our home, you know, were part of that old West Side, you know, uh, which is now much closer in, you know, to what we would think of as the downtown core, right? It’s only a couple miles outside of that. It’s closer to Motown, it’s over where Northwestern High School was. Did the, were the families that you grew up with, did you, did you get a sense that they had been there, uh, recently, or that they had come from there, were the parents from, uh, you know, for a place like Northwestern, you know, was, you know, my sense that West Side is that that was a place where people were coming into. 

el-Hakim   05:05    Yeah, so,  So my, my neighborhood, yeah. So my neighborhood was one of those neighborhoods that was integrated, um, shortly after the, um, the, the, um, the wall on Wyoming, uh, that separated the neighborhoods. Um, so by, uh, my family was one of those first families that came over into that area. Um, but you know, my, my neighborhood was, my block in particular was very interesting. My mother still owns the house. She still lives in the neighborhood. She got there in the late 60s, mid 60s, mid to late 60s, coming from Conant Garden. Conant Gardens. And prior to Conant Gardens. She lived on, McDougal, McDougal,l down in Black Bottom. 

There you go. 

Yeah. So that, that was the progression. So my grandparents lived in Conant Garden when my mom married my father, they wanted to move on up. 


So, uh, to that neighborhood was a big thing. So all my neighbors, so on my block, there were, um, a couple of white families that stayed for quite probably, well the only white families that stayed.  

el-Hakim   06:24    And they, until they actually passed away, um, in the late 80s, early 90s. Um, but I also had a very interesting historical, uh, uh, situation on my block too, where I had a neighbor who was five houses down from me. His name was Mr. Little. And he was, he and his wife were just great, great people, very quiet people. Kept, you know, and just like everybody on the Northwest side for sure, kept a very immaculate lawn. You know, we, you know, in Detroit, we, we, we compete when it comes to loans and gardens. So, um, but you know, he, he kept an immaculate yard and it was always quiet, always humble and always something very stately about him. And, but I didn’t, I didn’t know much about his background nor did the kids on the block know much about his background. But in the late 80s, early 90s, when I was at, in college, somebody called me, I was like, “yo man, Spike Lee is on the block.” What the hell is spike Lee doing a block? He’s like, yeah, he’s down at Mr. Little’s house. I don’t know what that was like, Oh, you didn’t know Mr. Little? I was like, what about Mr. LIttle. Oh, that’s Malcolm X, his oldest brother Wilford, who I had read about and all the biography of Malcolm X, but do you know, grow growing up. He was the type of individual, if you didn’t ask him, he wouldn’t have told you.  

el-Hakim   07:53    And in the mid 80s, at least in my neighborhood, and people forget that Malcolm X was not highly regarded in a lot of spaces. Um, and not only in the national community, but also in the Black community, too. And I grew up in a very Christian background, you know, neighborhood. So the talk of Malcolm X back then, and I would argue probably a very conservative minded neighborhood too. So back then people were not speaking up on Malcolm X like that. So, you know, but, um, the hip hop generation though in the mid 80s, obviously we were being introduced to Malcolm X for the first time through KRS-One, through Public Enemy, you know, the Afrocentric movement in, in hip hop. So we were being introduced to him. But little did I know that his big brother lived on my block. So, um, I mean, you can imagine, you know, the questions I had for him, you know, once I, um, had a chance to sit at his feet for a minute, but once I graduated and became a teacher and the movie Malcolm X came out, he, um, he came into my classroom. Uh, I want to say a couple of times he came, well, one time for sure, down when I was teaching at Job Corps, he came down and spoke to some of my students and I showed the movie and actually he made a donation of a couple of pieces to the Black History 101 Mobile Museum. So, yeah, so I lived in that type of neighborhood.  

Gholz   09:24    That’s, that’s a great story. That’s an amazing story. It’s a very important Detroit story. I mean that, those, uh, inner migrations within the city, you know, and then of course the great migrations that brought people, you know, many people up, you know, uh, you know, very compelling stories. And, um, let’s, let’s segue here, let’s make sure we talk briefly about what you’ve been doing with the Black History Mobile Museum for many years. You were a part of, uh, some of Detroit Sound Conservancy’s earliest conferences. Uh, you’ve always been open to bringing out some artifacts. So can you just briefly talk about, uh, you know, the Black History 101 Mobile Museum, uh, what it is and sort of what what’s happening with it right now?  

el-Hakim   10:06    Yeah, so the, um, the Black History 101 Mobile Museum is a project that started, um, actually right after coming back from the Million Man March. Prior to the Million Man March, um, I was just a collector of, of black memorabilia. I became a collector, um, after taking a class with Dr. David Pilgrim of Ferris State University’s Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia. I was his student. I was one of his sociology students back in 1991. And it was in his class that he used, uh, primary source material to engage us in learning about the origins of racism and the impact of racism, um, in a very nuanced way through artifacts. And these artifacts that were created, um, in the society, uh, primarily, um, by white folks and primarily for white consumption. And after taking that class, um, my mind was blown. I was wide open to going and find, finding out as much as I could about, um, this history in this type of way. Because growing up in America as a Black person, you know, that racism exists, you know, that, um, sometimes you can’t pinpoint it and put your finger on it, which you know, just through experience what it is, what it looks like, and how, you know, how it makes you feel, but to have this evidence via objects, that shows that from the very beginning of our first experience with, um, Europeans in America, that this has been a constant thing throughout history from day one up until today and into, you know, into our current times. So, um, after taking class, I started combing antique shops, used bookstores, garage sales, um, and such, um, initially up in Northern Michigan, everywhere, from Big Rapids up to Traverse City.  

el-Hakim   12:07    I was going through all types of antique shops in those areas, just picking up things from postcards to figurines, to magazines, children’s books. And, um, and you know, it just became, um, early on, it was a hobby and then it just became, it became my life’s work, my, my, my mission in life. And so after taking this class, I became a teacher in DPS and found myself using those types of artifacts to engage my students. And one of the things that, um, I guess, would separate me in terms of, um, lived experience from, um, a Dr. David Pilgrim, um, a Dr. Charles Wright and Dr. Margaret Burroughs who I salute for, you know, inspiring me, um, because my very first museum experience was at Dr. Charles Wright’s museum on West Grand Boulevard when I was in probably first and second grade. Um, but their experiences that informed them were via, for Dr.  

el-Hakim   13:17    Pilgrim growing up in Mobile, Alabama was the Jim Crow experience for him directly. Um, and for Dr. Charles Wright and Dr. Margaret Burroughs living in the North, it was their experience in the Civil Rights movement, the Black Power era, and those experiences, although Dr. Charles Wright also had that experience in the South too, um, because he went to school at Meharry. And so, um, you know, so that, that was what influenced them, what impacted them in terms of their experience. For me, a generation out of that, me being exposed to and participating in hip hop culture gave me a very, very interesting lens. One that would be able to critique the American, American experience in a slightly different type of way. So, um, so by my, um, collecting, engaging my students, bringing in hip hop as a vehicle to engage them in something that they were very familiar with because they were experiencing it and participating in it as well.  

el-Hakim   14:28    Um, kind of gave me a in terms of respect, um, with my students that, um, you know, carried, you know, carried me a long way. It ended up creating relationships with my students that, um, allowed me to, to dig a little bit deeper into, into the learning, learning experience. Um, so, um, after the Million Man March, I came back to Detroit and started doing public exhibits of material. One of the, one of the, the, the, um, pledges that we took, um, at the Million Man March, was to go back home and make a difference in our communities. So for me, that, that, that private collection, um, ended up becoming public. I ended up sharing it in, in public community forums, meetings, um, actually initially with my big brother, Mr. Malik Shabazz. Um, and he, he was, he was the first person I went to and he had, he was doing community meetings every week with his new Marcus Garvey Movement, Black Panther Nation.  

el-Hakim   15:37    And so he was bringing in some incredible scholars, um, speaking about, you know, Black Power, Black Nationalism, and how to, um, be of service to our community. So it was through his meetings. I met people like Dr. Leonard Jeffries, um, Dr. Um, Vera Shango, um, just so many people, uh, Dale Jones, Dr. Khalid Muhammad, um, Professor Griff used to come through there quite a bit and, you know, and just many other people. So it was through those types of meetings I initially set out the first, um, small exhibits that I began. And from there 

Gholz In Detroit, just to be clear. 

el-Hakim These were all in Detroit. Yeah, these are all in Detroit initially. And then eventually those community, uh, small exhibits ended up becoming opportunities for people to ask me to go into churches. And at the same time I’m still teaching. So I couldn’t really, you know, leave teaching to go do exhibits other places, but you know, I was just getting my feet wet.  

el-Hakim   16:48    Um, I was doing these exhibits free, for free, you know, during these times and really because of the love and then seeing how the community responded to them, uh, to these exhibits and seeing the value people placed on it. And then even getting comparisons, uh, to Dr. Charles Wright. And I didn’t know, that’s how Dr. Charles Wright started off with this mobile trailer trailer either. I didn’t know that until I started doing the work. And, um, so it just became a, um, a way to give back, a way to educate people, a way to provide access to this type of material. Because, you know, some people, we’re not going to, uh, as many, with as many museums as Detroit has. A lot of people, their first experience with seeing a museum in that type of way was through my, me taking that museum into these spaces.  

el-Hakim   17:46    Right? And then, and then me encouraging people to say, “yo, what I have here is nothing in comparison with what you all will find, if you all go down to the Charles Wright Museum or the Detroit Historical Museum and those types of things.” So, um, and it’s interesting because years later, once I got into graduate school, um, someone referred a book to me at one point. And, um, the book is called From Storefront to Monument

Gholz Yes. 

el-Hakim It was written by Andrea Burns, um, and it was in, in this book that she made a very interesting point of how my museum served a very important purpose of connecting and being a bridge between the community, into an institution like the Charles Wright Museum. Um, and, and it’s important to understand and recognize that, um, as, as institutions, one of the things that we we have to do is make sure that we have strong community connections.  

el-Hakim   18:56    Um, and Dr. Wright started off very much community oriented. Um, and, you know, as, as institutions grow, um, sometimes we, we, we lose that connection. You know what I’m saying? And I think what they’re doing right now currently, um, I think they’re, they’re going back to that and people are seeing the value in having those types of, um, organic, um, community connections. So 

Gholz Well, absolutely you’re right, the Wright, Charles Wright. Uh, right there at Warren and the Boulevard, you know, walking distance from the Bird, you know? 

el-Hakim Right. 

Gholz Across the street have now destroyed public library. You know, I also, you know, we’d be remiss to not bring up the fact that at those first conferences that we invited you into and that you were a part of, you know, those were at the Detroit Public Library and there were library branches really throughout the city. Uh, and so many of those branches are, uh, you know, began to go away, you know, over the last 20 years.  

el-Hakim Right.

Gholz   20:04    And so that, that idea that, uh, you would, you know, your first experiences with “museum” experience or a “library” experience or a “collection” experience would be, you know, within walking distance of your house, right?

el-Hakim Exactly. 

Gholz And then later, maybe you get in a bus and you go down to DIA for the day or something like that,

el-Hakim Right. 

Gholz That it was much more built into your day to day, you know? Um, let’s talk about how, so you did, you’ve done the, how many years, uh, with the Black History 101 Mobile Museum. 

el-Hakim So I started collecting in to, uh, in 1991, my first, yeah, my first exhibits were in 1995-96 after the Million Man March. And then, um, from ‘95 to 2005, I called that my, my incubation period, and a lot of that work I did from ‘95 to 2005, 2006 was mainly in the city. Uh, I, I want to say it probably is all in the city.  

el-Hakim   21:07    All of it was probably free. I’m pretty sure it was, for the most part. Um, and then, um, congruently with this experience, I was also working in the hip hop community. So I have to bring that in because leading up to 2005, 2006 is when the shift changed from the museum being local to it becoming a national museum. So in, in, um, you know, I’ll just add the, the, um, hip hop piece in here as well.

Gholz Sure, sure. 

el-Hakim So we know, so we know, um, in the early to mid 90s in Detroit, there’s a huge, um, um, renaissance of, of, of hip hop. Um, and a lot of that came out of the Hip Hop Shop on Seven Mile. And, um, so in ‘93, when I was still a student at Ferris, um, I was a part of a, um, well, two things. I was a part of the student programming board at Ferris State University.  

el-Hakim   22:13    So I’ve got to give this context as well, because it’s very important in terms of my, building my skillset in terms of becoming, um, a manager and a booking agent. So being, um, uh, being a part of the student programming board, I got, um, I learned how to negotiate contracts. I learned how to work with artists doing, um, bringing these artists to campus. So some of the artists that we brought the campus, uh, back at that time were people like Joe Rogan, for example, um, who’s, you know, now, you know, huge. But he was the only, he was the one standing, he was doing standup comedy back 

Gholz Sure, sure. 

el-Hakim And we ended up staying in contact for a long time. Um, after we, after I brought him up. But people like Joe Rogan, Margaret Cho, um, and then in terms of hip hop, uh, well, this is funny.  

el-Hakim   23:09    We bought Bill Cosby up there. But we also had, um, well, we attempted to bring 2 Live Crew up in the middle of their whole censorship movement, um, where, where they went to, went to court. But, uh, and, in our attempt to bring them up, uh, the, the community of Big Rapids was not having it. And they shut that down, but it ended up, we ended up having a student protest up there and we protested for days. And even with all of that, um, trying to bring up 2 Live Crew, that little bedroom town of Big Rapids was not having it. Um, but you know, it was, it was through that process that I learned that skillset. But at the same time, I was also a part of a poetry collective called Third Stone from the Sun. And what we were doing as our little collective, we were mainly inspired by the Last Poets.  

el-Hakim   24:07    So we would travel around to different coffee houses and venues and cultural events throughout the state of Michigan and throughout places in Indiana and Ohio as well. And, um, we ended up, um, meeting, uh, a dynamic poet. And when, when, when I say dynamic, she’s just incredibly dynamic, uh, out of Detroit. Um, her name is Vievee Francis, and I want to say she’s at Brown University now as a, as a teacher, if I’m correct as a professor, a tenured professor, tenured professor. But, um, but at the time she was, I want to say she was probably doing slam poetry at the time. She, as a matter of fact, she was, and she opened up for the last poets on Lollapalooza. Um, but when she saw us, she saw exactly what we were doing. And she was like, “I’m going to introduce you to the Last poets.”  

el-Hakim   24:59    And I didn’t believe her at the time. I’m like, yeah, whatever. And I mean, I was still a student, I was still a student at Ferris. And one morning I get a phone call from Umar Bin Hassan of the Last Poets. 

Gholz Yep. 

el-Hakim And I couldn’t believe this dude was on the phone and he was living in Flint at the time. And he was like, “yeah, heard y’all are you doing this, this Last Poets thing. He’s like, I want to see you perform one day.” I was like, shit, you could see us perform tonight. And he’s like, “well, I don’t have a car.” I was like, “man, we’ll come down and pick you up.” So we drove from Big Rapids to Flint, picked Umar up, buying back up to Ferris. He ended up staying up in Big Rapids for us, with us for about three days, just hanging out. And man, he couldn’t believe it,  

el-Hakim   25:42    I couldn’t believe it, but he really appreciated that work. And, and he saw my, my, my hustle, my grind, and said that, um, if I was interested in booking some shows for the Last Poets he would be open for that. And that was in 1994. And so from ‘94, all the way up until recently, I’ve been booking shows for the Last Poets. And via the Black History 101 Mobile Museum, they they’ve, uh, come out on the road with me quite a bit over the years. So that was my work with the Last Poets. And with that, um, doing work with the Last Poets, um, one night I was down at this place called the Mediterranean, Mediterranean Cafe in Greektown. And so for those people are familiar with the Mediterranean back in the 90s and early 2000s, people would know that that was the place where all the artists from Three Floors of Fun at St. Andrew’s would come to the Mediterranean afterwards.  

el-Hakim   26:47    And it was a 24 hour cafe. And all your, you, your who’s who of Detroit hip hop was in there. 

Gholz Right. 

el-Hakim So, I mean, who they, name a name, they were in there, you know, after, after, um, St. Andrew’s was closed. Um, 

Gholz Maybe including, maybe including, uh, Mike Huckaby who just passed. 

el-Hakim Uh, I’m, I’m pretty, I’m pretty sure, but I mean, it was, it was nothing to see Derrick May in there all the time, as a matter of fact, as a matter of fact, people would tell you, uh, or I, I bet I would see Derrick May, in there so much, I know that he would order, um, a grilled cheese sandwich with tomatoes and fries. Now that was the thing, same thing he ordered all the time. So, and that’s how much I would see him in there and how much we would build while he was in there.  

el-Hakim   27:37    But, you know, Proof, Baatin, T3,  Five Ele, um, House Shoes, um, I’ve, I’ve seen everybody would be in there. Um, but one night I was promoting a show with the Last Poets and I saw Proof, and this was the first time me and Proof ever, like had a real exchange. Um, and I had a flyer of the Last Poets, he had a flyer of Five Elements. And so we exchanged flyers. This was probably in the, um, about ‘97, ‘98. And so he gave me this flyer and he was like, “yo, man, my, my group is looking for the management.” And at the time I had never done any management before, I did booking, but never did management. And he was like, “man, give me a call next weekend. I want to introduce you to my crew.” So I was like, “shit. Yeah. I know.  

el-Hakim   28:25    I’ll think about joining.” And one unique thing about hip hop culture is that it provides the space for you to be whoever you claim to be, with the only requirement that you show and prove that’s who you are and what you do. So no matter whether or not you’re an MC, a breaker, or a DJ or, or a promoter or a booking agent or manager, if that’s what you claim that you are, the streets that tell you whether or not you’re legit. Right? So at the point I said, all right, yeah, I’ll do that. And I took on that position. I knew that I just had to find them work. I had to find them opportunities. So one, so, um, so within two weeks I was their, you know, quote unquote official manager. And one of the first things I did for them was started, um, an event called the Motor City Hip Hop Review, which was there, which was a platform for them to go out and perform.  

el-Hakim   29:29    But it’s also a platform for me to bring in other artists to also perform as well. And I would bring in a guest host to host these events. And um, so I, I did those a few times over the years. And Jessica Care Moore was a host of it once, MC Breed, the Last Poets, and some other folks over the years. And so that, that ended up being a way for me to establish myself as not only a manager, but also as a promoter as well. And, um, it helped legitimize and kind of, um, give me credibility in the hip hop circles that I, um, was in. So all that was going on.  

Gholz   30:13   We could, we could, you and I, and, and, you know, you’ve got a story here. Uh, you know, this is a good point to segue, I think, uh, I want to be conscious of our time here. And I also don’t want to leave people feeling like they’ve heard the whole story. I wanna encourage people to check out, obviously the Black History Mobile Museum online. I want to encourage them to reach out to the Michigan Hip Hop Archives. So let’s leave people thirsty here. 

el-Hakim Oh yeah, absolutely. 

Gholz And you’ve already. And you’ve already gone to that hip hop place, obviously your, your relationship to it. You know, it goes back to the 80s, but really came of age in the 90s. And, uh, so just briefly, if you could, uh, you’ve got a new initiative, recent, you know, comes out of your, uh, move into the academy, right? You’ve always had a relationship with education and pedagogy, informal and formal, uh, types of education. Uh, but you did, you went back and got your, you are now a Doctor, you’ve gotten that all taken care of, and you’ve got this initiative called the Michigan Hip Hop Archive. Uh, leave us, uh, give us just enough to get us excited. And then we can load up the podcast with some links and get people to where they need to be.  

el-Hakim   31:25    Yes. So real quick, the, the Michigan Hip Hop Archive comes directly out of, I would say it’s the nonprofit arm of the Black History 101 Mobile Museum. The Black History 101 Mobile Museum has an archive of about 7,000 artifacts. Out of that 7,000 artifacts, a lot of those artifacts come from my personal experience of being in hip hop culture. So as, um, as a, as a, um, a service and a way to promote hip hop culture, the Michigan Hip Hop Archive is an archive that celebrates the accomplishments and the contributions of hip hop culture in the state of Michigan. Um, and the initial deposit of artifacts comes from, um, the Black History 101 Mobile Museum. Um, so a lot, a lot of the, you know, some of the contracts, photographs, albums, CDs, cassette tapes, promo photos, um, and other type of material are a part of that initial, uh, initial, um, deposit.  

el-Hakim   32:37    But I’ve also been personally reaching to hip hop artists around the state and asking people to donate material. And so one of the first major donations I got recently was from DJ Butter, who was one of our great, um, pioneer veterans in, uh, Detroit hip hop. Um, who’s been doing some amazing paintings recently, um, uh, um, iconic, uh, paintings kind of characticatures of Detroit hip hop icons. And I just bought 10 paintings of his, uh, just last week. And he donated a bunch of flyers and some Real Detroits and Metro Times with hip hop artists on the cover of them. So, um, I want to have a, um, a repository of everything related to the contributions of hip hop culture in Michigan. And so now, uh, I’ve collaborated with Western Michigan University.

Gholz Right. 

el-Hakim And they’ve, they’ve, uh, provided exhibit space as well as archival space on campus.  

el-Hakim   33:41    And I’ll, I’ll be teaching a hip hop class in the Fall, um, that will tie all of this material together for my students. So this is just going to be a valuable resource for scholars, a valuable, valuable resource for students and a valuable resource resource for anyone who is just interested in, uh, that, that nuanced, um, contribution that hip hop artists, producers, journalists, um, have made in, in, uh, in Michigan and also looking at the impact that hip hop has had, um, on the outside coming in. So even looking at, for example, how many times Tupac Shakur, came to Detroit or came to Michigan and performed, you know, he performed in Flint, he performed in Lansing, he performed in Detroit. Someone like a Nipsey Hustle who came to Detroit, where did he perform? I just recently found out, um, he performed at the Garden Theater for a 420 event.  

el-Hakim   34:38    So, I mean, it’s like those types of nuances that we want to take a look at as well. And then, you know, also, uh, we can’t overlook the contributions of, you know, women in hip hop, for example, the things that Piper Carter is doing. That’s amazing. Things, things that, um, my, my, my sister, Nikki D I knew her back in the day is Nikki D, but we know her as Kalimah Johnson today, the things that she’s doing. So, um, yeah, so we want to, we want to highlight all of that type of stuff. So I’m really excited about it, um, I’m honored to be able to, um, make this contribution and use my platform, um, to, to kind of corral this material together and just make a valuable resource for, for, for all of us in the community. 

Gholz And where can, and we’ll obviously put the links here, the podcast, where, where can they find you all online during this COVID-19 moment, um,  

Gholz   35:38    And we obviously hope you’re, you’re healthy and, and, and your family’s healthy you during this.  

el-Hakim   35:43    Thank you. I, I, I appreciate that. Well, right now we’re doing everything via the Black History 101 Mobile Museum. Um, right now, um, the, the link that we have for the Michigan Hip Hop Archive right now is a private link. So we’lll  make that public over the next couple of months, but right now, the link that you’re a part of Carleton is a private link. But if people want to reach out to me regarding the Michigan Hip Hop Archive, at this point, they can, um, either call me directly at (313) 645-4197. They can email me at “BHistory”, the letter B the word history, one, [] or they can reach out via, um,, So those are three ways people can get in contact with me right now regarding that,  

Gholz   36:36    Uh, doctor, doctor, I really, uh, congratulations obviously on you finishing your degree, congratulations on this new initiative, which I think just, you know, uh, you know, moves things forward in an exciting way. It’s going to have impact here in Michigan, 

el-Hakim Absolutely. 

Gholz based on all this knowledge that you’ve, you’ve gotten, you know, taking it outside of Michigan.  

el-Hakim   36:57    Thank you. I just want to add one more thing. And just to let people know the significance of having this type of archive in Michigan at Western Michigan University here in Kalamazoo. There’s only a handful of other universities in the country that have hip hop archives like this. Um, and Cornell University is one of them. The Harvard collection at Harvard University is another. The University of Houston, William and Mary. Um, there’s one up in Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Hip Hop Archive. And I think there’s a couple on the, on the West Coast as well, but this is a very, very unique thing on, on the, national level. And it’s, so it’s not just a local thing, but it’s really going to give us a opportunity to have not only a statewide impact, but a national and as well as a global impact as well. 

Gholz Uh, Doctor, we appreciate you. Uh, we’ll talk to you very soon, uh, best of health and safety to you and the crew.  

el-Hakim Same to you.  

Gholz And we’ll let you know, uh, when this gets live, Dr. Khalid el-Hakim, everybody.  

Gholz   38:08    Today’s episode of Sonic Solidarity was recorded and produced by myself, Carleton Gholz. It was edited engineered by Detroit Sound Conservancy project manager, Jonah Raduns-Silverstein. Our theme music was performed by bassist Marion Hayden and saxophonist DeSean Jones in front of the legendary Blue Bird Inn, Detroit, Michigan, 2019. 

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