ATHENS, WV (WVNS)– Canadian native Shaun Boothe spoke to students at Concord University on Thursday, February 9, 2023.

Boothe is an award-winning hip-hop recording artist who shared the stage with rappers Snoop Dogg, Lauren Hill, and Kendrick Lamar.

He said this genre was more to him than just the music.

“Hip-hop was my way to fit in. Hip-hop gave me my sense of belonging. You know, that was my thing that I had and that welcomed me,” Boothe said.

Destiny Robertson, the Assistant Director at the Student Center created this event to bring awareness to diversity on campus.

“Just have a day to celebrate different people’s careers and how they’ve impacted our culture and make people aware of how little things they do on a daily basis like trendy things are based in black and brown culture.”

Boothe also shared videos from his musical project The Unauthorized Biographies Series where he created documentary rap music videos about prominent figures like Serena Williams, Bob Marley, and Muhammad Ali.

He said one time he even received a compliment from someone in the Ali family.

“His daughter reached out to me on MySpace now I don’t know if everyone remembers that but she sent me a message on MySpace saying I saw the video you did on my father, this is when he was alive, and I just want to say you really captured who he is. Thank you and keep going,” Booth said.

He said it was at the moment, he couldn’t stop creating videos.

Robertson said she hopes this event can help positively change attitudes in students on campus.

“I think our students need to be prepared for the diversity that is in our world. And I don’t want them to be shell shocked when they see people that look different than them, dress different than them, and have a different culture as them so I’m hoping that I’m preparing students for their real work life and to be a better human in society,” Robertson said.