Friday, September 25, 2020

UIS, UIUC create mobile recording studio

As part of a faculty collaboration between the University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), the universities created the Hip-Hop Xpress, a school bus that serves as a mobile recording studio.

Hip-hop artists in the capital city are invited to visit the bus to write original music using instrumental tracks that were created by Champaign producers.

Officials said when the Hip-Hop Xpress is finished, they plan to have it travel across the state to different communities and classrooms to teach about African-American history and cultural innovations spurred on by hip-hop.

The outside of the bus displays its name and the names of various artists. The inside of the bus is empty, except for its use of transporting non-permanent recording equipment.

The bus was partially funded by a University of Illinois System Presidential Initiative to Celebrate the Impact of the Arts and the Humanities grant worth $150,000.

UIS Instructor of Sociology and African American Studies Tiffani Saunders, along with UIUC faculty members Adam Kruse, Malaika McKee, and William Patterson, played a significant role in the creation of the Hip-Hop Xpress.

This story aired on WICS Newschannel 20 on September 24, 2020.