EMP Pop Conference Roundtable: Conjured Collaborations, Political Voice, and Hip-Hop History


Saturday, April 16 • 2:00pm – 3:30pm

Experience Music Project Museum (Seattle)

Across imagined and curated collaborations between Fela Kuti and De La Soul, Marvin Gaye and Yasiin Bey, and B.B. King and UGK (amongst others), Amerigo Gazaway and partner Rickey Mindlin bring towering individual voices into conversation, offering a new hip-hop and soul historiography. Together, the voices create a new, single voice. This panel will consider the Soul Mates Project’s work for how we might marshal voice to offer up lessons for musicology, music history, and social justice. Gazaway and Mindlin will discuss the process of putting together The Soul Mates Project. Robinson will give a paper considering the broader implications of the endeavor as a whole.


Amerigo Gazaway is a Nashville native and the creator of The Soul Mates Project’s series of mashup collaborations. As producer of Fela Soul, Bizarre Tribe, and Yasiin Gaye, he has led presentations at USC, TSU, and the Google Tech Talk: “Redefining the Remix with Amerigo Gazaway.” His music has been featured in The Good Man film and Apple’s “Jason’s Verse” iPad commercial, and his work has been profiled by the Huffington Post and Vibe Magazine among others.

Zandria F. Robinson writes on Southern hip-hop, the urban South, and Black feminist themes in the work of Black women popular culture artists. Her book,This Ain’t Chicago: Race, Class, and Regional Identity in the Post-Soul South is an ethnographic and pop examination of the intersections of race, class, gender, and region in Black identity. Robinson teaches sociology at Rhodes College, blogs at New South Negress, and tweets sundries @zfelice.

Rickey Mindlin is the co-founder of The Soul Mates Project, which traces the roots of hip-hop by imagining “collaborations that never were.” As executive producer of Amerigo Gazaway’s Yasiin Gaye, Fela Soul, and Bizarre Tribealbums, Mindlin serves as conceptual collaborator with Gazaway, and the duo’s work has charted on Billboard’s Top Selling singles chart. He studied audio production at The New School before beginning his career at Sony Music.

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