Month: May 2019

The Space Program Hip-Hop Collective Inspires ‘Fortitude, Resilience and Innovation’

The Space Program, a hip-hop collective of more than two dozen Black, collegiate artists and entrepreneurs from across Oklahoma, recently released the album “Curriculum of the Mind,” which was celebrated April 25 with a showcase at ACM@UCO Performance Lab.

Christopher G. Acoff, aka Original Flow poses with his hands folded across his chest in this black-and-white portrait

Christopher G. Acoff, aka Original Flow

Among others, the TSP collective features UCO-tied alumni and students, including audio engineer Myles Adams; Christopher G. Acoff, aka Original Flow, who earned a Music Business degree at ACM@UCO; ACM Contemporary Music Production graduate James Curd, aka Deezy; and UCO student Makeen Khalifa, aka Makeen.

Portions of TSP’s debut video for the album’s title track were recorded on the UCO campus in Edmond.

“The true essence of this dissertation album was the ability to see the progression of students, particularly ACM students (e.g. artists, poets, rappers, producers, audio engineers, etc.), come together and masterfully create something that will forever be timeless, both in the hip-hop and educational communities,” said TSP’s CEO, DJ and producer Dr. View, aka Stevie Johnson, who is also the former Assistant Director of Diversity Retention in the Office of Diversity & Inclusion at the University of Central Oklahoma.

Stevie Johnson, aka DJ and producer Dr. View, stands with his headphones pulled above his ears as he looks at the camera in this color portrait.

Stevie Johnson, aka DJ and producer Dr. View

He also recently received his Ph.D in Higher Education Administration from the University of Oklahoma.

“Many studies do not allow students to authentically express themselves in ways that speak to their epistemological and ontological perspectives. The fortitude, resilience and innovation of these students developed a new avenue of hip-hop scholarship that academia not only has to respect, but that will be used as a blueprint for educators for years to come,” Johnson said.

“In short, these students is helping the world recognize that hip-hop and education can and will work together for the betterment of creating social change,” he added.

Two ACM Students Earn Top Songwriting Prizes in Jimmy LaFave Songwriting Contest

Two students at the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma (ACM@UCO) recently earned two top awards in the annual Jimmy LaFave Songwriting Contest.

Dallas Parker

Three of the four finalists, selected from 74 entries as finalists in the second annual Jimmy LaFave Songwriting Contest in April, were ACM students: “Breathless” by Chloe-Beth Campbell, “Angels Lullaby” by Ashliann Rivera and “Abilities” by Dallas Parker (Faux Draco). The fourth finalist was “Hollyhocks and Morning Glories” by longtime Tulsa singer-songwriter Scott Aycock.

The four performed April 30 in Stillwater. Parker won first place, which secured a lineup slot in the Bob Childers’ Gypsy Café festival on May 1, along with a $500 cash prize plus a $500 donation made in his name to the nonprofit Red Dirt Relief Fund. Campbell won the People’s Choice award, earning her a $100 prize.

Chloe-Beth Campbell

Parker, who performs under the name Faux Draco, is a freshman contemporary music production student at ACM and a rapper from Oklahoma City. Campbell is a freshman ACM contemporary music production student from Enid, and released her debut full-length album, Remnant, last year.

Rivera is freshman contemporary music performance major at ACM. The singer-songwriter was born in Brooklyn and raised in Oklahoma City. She has released three EPs in the last three years.