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Rap panel to bring ‘Tha Noise’

Rappers, rhymers, authors and activists will come together to share their perspectives on hip-hop and rap music at 7 tonight in the Sun Dome Corral.

The panel includes Chuck D, cofounder of the rap group Public Enemy; Karrine Steffans, author of the New York Times bestseller Confessions of a Video Vixen; Da Brat, a platinum selling rapper; Bridget Gray, a noted poet and actress; and Byron Hurt, an independent filmmaker and anti-violence activist.

Best known for his collaborative work with fellow rapper Flava Flav in the group Public Enemy, Chuck D has since made his mark in various arenas of the music industry, including starting the Web site, which offers MP3 downloads and news about artists along with a radio and television station.

Steffans gained notoriety with her 2005 publication Confessions of a Video Vixen, which chronicled her years as a hip-hop super-groupie. Since then, she has spoken about the dangers of the entertainment industry and abuse.

Da Brat entered the world of hip-hop in the early 1990s. In 1994 she released her first solo album, Funkdefied, and became the first female rapper to have a platinum selling album.

Gray began her career as a published poet at 15 years old when she won her first poetry competition. Since then, she has kept up with her winning streak in writing poetry, topping out in numerous slams including HBO’s Soul Poetry Slam.

As a former college football quarterback at Northeastern University, Hurt has gone on to make a name for himself as an independent filmmaker and anti-sexism activist. For more than five years, he was the associate director and founding member of the Mentors in Violence (MVP) program and also began the first gender violence prevention program for the Unites States Marine Corps.