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Hip-hop pioneer Grandmaster Flash teaches class at UB and Buffalo State

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Posted at 5:07 PM, Sep 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-30 18:34:45-04

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — Hip-hip pioneer Grandmaster Flash is teaching a class at University at Buffalo and Buffalo State.

Flash said the classes at UB, and Buffalo State give him a chance to tell hip-hops story. He said it's important they get the history right. And students at UB said they’re eager to learn.

“It’s been so great, he’s so kind and friendly and excited to do this with us and it’s been really exceptional,” junior at UB Tioga Simpson said.

“This thing that we used as recreation in the South Bronx has unarguably become the most important culture,” Flash said.

The semester long class that began September third is a new endeavor for Flash, it’s the first time he is working directly with university students.

“It’s quite amazing what these young people could learn or come back with and have a conversation with somebody who’s possibly double their age,” Flash said.

Flash is teaching sixteen students from UB as well as an additional sixteen from Buffalo State; he joins them via zoom for select classes.

“It’s such a new art form. We have to understand how it came to be in order to keep moving forward with it,” Simpson said.

On Thursday, Flash’s three-day in person residency began. That includes a performance, as well as an open discussion with flash and on Saturday students will share their work with him.

“It’s incredibly exciting. Grandmaster flash is a legend, he is known around the world for his talents and the fact that he basically invented hip hop as we know it,” Simpson said.

Students from UB and Buffalo State are also committed to a Saturday session, where all 32 classmates learn together.

“It’s been so worth it because I feel like I’ve learned so much, so quickly,” Simpson said.

Flash will join students for their final class where they will reflect and debrief the semester.

“Talking to the children is probably really more important to me than anything,” Flash said.

Flash said this is not a one and done deal for him, he plans to return annually to work with and educate students about hip hop.