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Community Advocacy Organization

Lansing Native and Husband Hope to Bridge Hip Hop’s Generational Gap With New Show

Courtesy Photo-R to L Markia Bonner (30) and husband Arturo Royster (34), creators of the YouTube Hip Hop show, “Ya Dig?”

Lansing native, Markia Bonner (30) and husband Arturo Royster (34), creators of the YouTube Hip Hop show, “Ya Dig?”, have the goal of teaching Hip Hop history to the youth and even Hip Hop aficionados, in an effort to preserve the history and highlight its impact on the global community. With a little extra time on their hands due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Royster, a Project Engineer, and Bonner, an attorney, both avid music lovers, had the opportunity to really examine the current Hip Hop landscape. What struck them was the disconnect between new music and the foundational art form, as well as the lack of prominent Black voices in Hip Hop news and media. From this revelation, “Ya Dig?” the Hip Hop Show, was born.

“Ya Dig?” is hosted by Royster, who is also a Hip Hop artist himself, and produced by Bonner. The show is presented in various segments, ranging from “Hip Hop Legacy”, a discussion of Hip Hop’s most influential historical figures, to “Let’s Rap”, an exploration of different dynamics of Hip Hop such as the relationship between geographical regions and vocabulary usage. Every episode presents the audience with interesting and relevant Hip Hop insight, and is meant for Hip Hop lovers as well as the casual listener.

The first season of “Ya Dig?” consists of 16 complete episodes covering legendary Hip Hop figures such as Queen Latifah, Outkast, and The Fresh Prince. “Ya Dig?” has also expanded to include “The Aftershow”, an interview series for both up-and-coming and established artists. You can also catch the show in podcast format on Spotify and Apple Music. Season 2 premieres Wednesday March 3, so stay tuned!

“Ya Dig?” is brought to you by its parent company, Rhymes & Designs, an apparel company that creates designs inspired by Hip Hop lyrics. Arturo Royster, who is also a playwright, will be releasing his latest production highlighting Black revolutionaries later this year. Markia Bonner has established an independent publishing company, and hopes to publish her first novel, a fictional account of the Black settlers of Nova Scotia, in the near future.

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