Since its inception, hip-hop has given a voice to the racially oppressed minorities of America. The popularity and overwhelming success of N.W.A turned five penniless, angry teenagers into megastars. They came from Compton, California, an area notoriously known for the Bloods and Crips gangs, who were responsible for much of the violence in the area. N.W.A released their second album Straight Outta Compton in 1988 to responses of praise, and for others, anger and fear. Their songs caused a rift in the American public, notably the track ‘Fuck the Police’ which got them a letter of disapproval from the FBI, as well as bans being issued to prevent the group playing venues. On the surface, the song seems like a harsh critique, but it becomes clear why N.W.A expressed such discontent with authority.
To kick off our live brief based around the River Usk, we second years went on a field trip on October 24th. This trip included several stops in and around Newport, and we began by meeting on Caerleon campus before heading off in our cosy minivan. It proved to be a fun and inspiring trip, despite the typical Welsh weather that we had for most of the day.
We began with a short drive and a brief stop in Goldcliff along the Wales Coastal Path where the Usk flows into the Severn Estuary, before returning to Newport to visit the Transporter Bridge. The Bridge is a remarkable landmark and arguably the most recognised symbol of Newport. It was built in 1906 and is one of the few remaining transporter bridges in use in the world.
Second year students recently completed their first project of the year – Make. This was a studio based project that asked students to physically make an object. With an emphasis on experimentation and playfulness, there was no limitation on what could be created.