What it Is

The Show & Prove Hip Hop Studies Conference Series (S&P) is a biennial conference that is interdisciplinary in practice and international in scope.  It is premised on cultivating the necessary and critical dialogues for the development of Hip Hop Studies as a field.  As universities adopt classes about Hip Hop and an increasing amount of scholarship gets published, this series was created for those with a vested interest in the culture—including artists and practitioners, students, teachers, scholars, and community activists—to interrogate, complicate, and critically negotiating what it means to bring Hip Hop into the academy.

photo by kevin Penton

photo by kevin Penton

S&P is one of the few ongoing conferences specifically geared toward developing scholarship on and through Hip Hop.  We combine paper presentations, discussion sessions, master classes, performances, and roundtable discussions among scholars and practitioners at various professional stages.  It has become a site for the most cutting edge research precisely because it builds on Hip Hop’s own cultural imperatives.  

“Show & Prove” conferences are free and open to the public.  There is no registration fee, and we encourage attendance by those outside of the academy.

How it Came To Be

photo by Kevin Penton

photo by Kevin Penton

S&P started out as a series designed to showcase student work, and to connect with others who had not yet published but were already in the midst of doing incredible research.  Named by a then student, and photographer Amanda Adams-Louis, “show and prove” is the Hip Hop ethos of action over words, or the demonstration of skills over merely talking about them.  The conference is a platform for just that.  It created a space for scholars and artists across disciplines, experiences, professional lives, and nationalities to be in conversation, and build their work.  Under the title, “Show & Prove:  the Tensions, Contradictions, & Possibilities of Hip Hop Studies,” the first two S&P’s took place at New York University, in 2010 and 2012.  From the first conference came a demand for a second, and then a third.  Now, “Show & Prove” is a series that will happen approximately every 2 years, and resides at the University of California Riverside.