Celebrating the influence of hip-hop and rap history with David “DJ” Lee

IVCC student Tim Campbell watches Lee’s interactive presentation after stopping by CTC 122 for Soul Food lunch.

Nyah Nowakowski and Drake Weber

Using beatboxing as his instrument and explaining the impact hip-hop and rap music has had on our society, David “DJ” Lee helped IVCC celebrate Black History Month.

Lee performed to a small crowd Wednesday, Feb. 23 at noon in the Student Life Center. Students, faculty and staff were also invited to grab some Soul Food as they listened to Lee spin tracks in an interactive presentation.

Lee stated, “What started out as just party music, spread like wildfire throughout the entire U.S. in the late 1970s and early 1980s.” He commented that from dancers, DJs, graffiti artists and beatboxers, hip-hop not only changed “pop” music, but also had a huge impact on fashion, language and culture in most parts of society.

For Lee, there are four major things that make hip-hop what it is today: culture, social commentary, civil rights and politics and the ladies of hip-hop.

Lee said, “You kind of need the ladies of hip-hop to show the world that there are not just men. The ladies balanced out the testosterone to make it the genre it is today.”

Originally from Kansas City, Mo., David “DJ” Lee aka Rockababyrock has spent more than 17 years beatboxing in his indie band Scratch Track and as the solo artist of Rockababyrock. He is a beatboxer, songwriter, singer, producer and artist manager. He has a college degree in Classical Vocal Music and is able to perform and write a variety of styles and genres.

While he toured, Lee shared the stage with other artists such as The Zac Brown Band, The Roots, Jurassic 5 and many more. His music has appeared in independent films and on MTV and Playstation’s MLB.

The audience enjoyed a full hour of Lee’s talents as he used his voice to create harmonic tones and countless beats, songs and grooves to tell stories and to communicate with the audience. Lee says, “Beatboxing and singing aren’t something that I do; they’re who I am at the core.”