Oral History of Mervin Jenkins, interviewed by Laura R. Brown, Ra'Shaud J. Graham and Michael L. Rice, 16 March, 2017

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Title

Oral History of Mervin Jenkins, interviewed by Laura R. Brown, Ra'Shaud J. Graham and Michael L. Rice, 16 March, 2017

Description

Musician and educator Mervin Antonio Jenkins, also known as Spec the Spectacular for his talent at rhyming and freestyle, was born in Eutawville, South Carolina in 1972. He is the first child of Mary, a schoolteacher, and Melvin Jenkins, an auto mechanic worker. It was in his father’s garage that Jenkins listened to Run DMC, "Sucker MC's" for the first time. Later, he would learn more about rap music and culture with his cousin from New York. In the interview, Jenkins reflects on his career as a musician and as an educator who uses rap to engage young people. He shares the challenges and rewards of his career, stating that recording with Big Daddy Cane was one of his proudest moments. He discusses the evolution of rap music and its styles and names his favorite artists. When asked about a particular Charleston/Carolinas sound, he argues that the Carolinas never developed their own rap sound and style because it was not functional for the music industry. At the end of the interview, he performs “War of the Worlds” and freestyles, responding to the audience prompts.

Source

Working Charleston

Publisher

The Citadel Archives & Museum

Date

Rights

Materials in The Citadel Archives & Museum Digital Collections are intended for educational and research use. The user assumes all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of copyright. For more information contact The Citadel Archives & Museum, The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, 29409.

Format

application/pdf

Language

English

Type

Text

Identifier

https://citadeldigitalarchives.omeka.net/items/show/617

Coverage

Charleston (S.C.)

Duration

1 hour, 9 minutes

Interviewer

Brown, Laura R.
Graham, Ra'Shaud J.
Rice, Michael L.

Interviewee

Jenkins, Mervin

Collection

Citation

The Charleston Oral History Program at the Citadel, “Oral History of Mervin Jenkins, interviewed by Laura R. Brown, Ra'Shaud J. Graham and Michael L. Rice, 16 March, 2017,” The Citadel Archives Digital Collections, accessed April 18, 2024, https://citadeldigitalarchives.omeka.net/items/show/617.