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UIS, UIUC create mobile recording studio

The Hip-Hop Xpress, created by UIS and UIUC (Courtesy of the University of Illinois Springfield)
The Hip-Hop Xpress, created by UIS and UIUC (Courtesy of the University of Illinois Springfield)
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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.

The Hip-Hop Xpress will make its first visit to Springfield on Saturday, Sept. 26.

It will be at House of Music, located at 222 N. Grand Ave. E., from 10 a.m. to noon, and then it will be at HISO Music, located at 1401 S. Fifth St. from 1 to 3 p.m.

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 public is asked to give feedback on possible designs for the interior.

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.

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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.

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