In the vibrant world of hip-hop, where beats, rhymes, and culture collide, the University of Dope is making waves. This innovative card game, designed to explore your thoughts and knowledge about hip-hop, has become a hit sensation.
It has been played by artists and DJs including Method Man, Raheem Devaughn, Chrisette Michele, D Nice, Peter Gunz, and Redman among many others.
Radio and TV personality Jazmyn Summers sat down with the co-creator of the game, A.V “$upreme” Perkins, to discuss the significance of hip hop’s 50th anniversary and the inspiration behind the University of Dope.
A Cultural Milestone: Hip Hop’s 50th Anniversary
“What makes this game so significant in this year is that we are the children of hip hop. Like we don’t know life before hip hop,” A.V. Perkins remarked, highlighting the monumental occasion of hip hop’s 50th anniversary.
She continued, “To grow up in the genre and see our greats still able to contribute to the genre and us to create our game, and just have all of that synergy is mind-blowing.”
The two Black women have navigated two male-dominated industries gaming and hip hop to success. Perkins says they felt like artists do when hearing their song on the radio for the first time when University of Dope got picked up by Amazon and Target. The game is now available on walmart.com and numerous other sites and stores as well as at a discounted price on University of Dope’s website.
The Birth of University of Dope: A Hip Hop Drinking Game (or not)
The origin story of University of Dope is as unique as the game itself. A.V. Perkins revealed that the game came into existence during a casual conversation with her business partner Marian “Skinni Bee” Andoh-Clark.
“Me and my business partner, we don’t have backgrounds in gaming, so we did not set out to create a game,” she said. “It was literally our own love for the genre and the love between us.”
The game was born during a conversation about the Wu-Tang Clan, one of hip-hop’s most iconic groups. A.V. Perkins and her partner wondered if there was a Wu-Tang drinking game, and when they couldn’t find one, they decided to create it themselves. This initial idea evolved into the University of Dope, a game that pays homage to hip-hop’s rich history.
There are two versions, one that includes having to take shots of alcohol when your answer doesn’t win and another family-friendly version that excludes any drinking. There is also an R&B version.
A Diverse Representation of Hip-Hop Legends
University of Dope stands out not only for its unique gameplay but also for its diverse representation of hip-hop legends.
The game features a wide range of artists, from golden era legends like Rakim and KRS-One to more recent icons like Drake, J. Cole, and Cardi B. A.V. Perkins and her team made sure to strike a balance between honoring hip hop’s history and embracing its contemporary evolution.
Bridging Generations with University of Dope
One of the unique aspects of University of Dope is that there are no right or wrong answers, making it a game focused on debates and discussions. A.V. Perkins shared her motivation behind this approach: “It’s about connection now, and we never wanted anyone to feel left out.”
It has already been played by some of the artists featured in the game “I will say it is very rewarding to see Method Man and several other celebrities who have played. When they hear their name, their reaction is really priceless. Method Man was really humble about being included,” A.V revealed.
University of Dope Takes Hip Hop on the Road
In addition to the tabletop card game, University of Dope is taking hip-hop to the streets with their upcoming event called “The Kickback.” The event is set to kick off in Miami during Art Basel in December and will feature a unique fusion of party, game night, and live polling.
“We want to take game night and put it on its head,” A.V. Perkins shared. “We’re bringing the nostalgia of old school hip hop and updating it with tech, making it an experience that connects people.” The event will utilize real-time voting and engage the entire crowd in choosing winners and participants for pop quiz challenges.
Hip Hop and Connection: University of Dope’s Legacy
University of Dope is more than just a card game; it’s a testament to the power of hip-hop in connecting people across generations and backgrounds. A.V. Perkins and her team have created a fun and engaging way to celebrate hip-hop’s 50th anniversary while keeping the culture alive and thriving.
“If you cannot play spades, you can get your Black card back by playing University of Dope,” she jokes.
This game is not just about hip-hop; it’s about connection, laughter, and the timeless power of music to bring people together.
Article and interviews by Jazmyn Summers. Please don’t forget to subscribe to Jazmyn Summers’ YouTube. Follow her @jaztalk1 on Instagram and Facebook. She is no longer using Twitter due to the increased racism on the site which she believes is a result of Elon Musk’s policies.
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