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Dalton Higgins

National Award-winning Journalist, Broadcaster, Journalist; Digital, Hip Hop and Pop Culture Expert

Dalton Higgins is a music programmer, pop culture critic, author, broadcaster and journalist. He is also widely regarded as Canada’s foremost expert on hip hop culture.

Photos

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Presentations

Generation Rap

Trend Spotting: Counterculture to Popular  Culture

Black History, Culture, Music and Art

Summary Profile

Dalton Higgins is a National Magazine Award-winning journalist, broadcaster and author who has written five books that interweave the worlds of digital culture, hip hop and popular culture into one potent mix. He is also Canada’s foremost expert on hip hop, the leading youth sub-culture of this generation.

Author of Far From Over the first biography of platinum-selling hip-hop artist and actor Drake – which is carried in the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame & Museum collection in Cleveland – Higgins examines Drake’s transition from Aubrey Drake Graham, heartthrob Canadian actor on the hit show Degrassi to one of the leading newsmakers of this generation. Highlighting the background social and cultural conditions in North America that helped create the Drake phenomenon, Far From Over follows the success of Higgins’ Hip Hop World book which is carried in Harvard University’s hip hop archive and has taken him across the United States, Denmark, France, Australia, Germany, Colombia, England and Cuba among other destinations. In fact, both Higgins’ Hip Hop World and Hip Hop books come with Teachers Guides – to increase student engagement and literacy – and are used in schools across North America, including a wide range of Black History and inclusive curriculum models. Higgins is passionate about teen literacy and has conducted Hip Hop literacy campaigns with everyone from the Toronto Raptors, to the Toronto Public Library and was nominated for Hip Hop Scholar of the Year award in 2010 in the United States (WBLINC, Washington DC) as a result. Hip Hop has become one of the fastest growing tools used in classrooms for increasing literacy, and Higgins uses the wider rap culture as a successful gateway to discuss issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, civic engagement / politics and culture.

Boasting a high level of expertise in the area where Technology-meets-Music, Higgins has worked on and consulted on a vast number of web-based initiatives throughout the USA and Canada including Urban Box Office (NYC), Shine.com (NYC/Toronto), Northside Hip Hop (Toronto) among others, and was recently handpicked as one of 30 Torontonians by the Toronto Star to blog about ways to make the city more liveable.

A successful pop culture pundit across a wide range of timely topical subjects, Higgins has been hired to conduct many “live” one-on-one interviews with some of the leading voices of this generation including KRS One, Chuck D (Public Enemy), and Grammy-winning Nelson George. Higgins has also appeared as a regular pop culture expert on a number of TV shows on Much Music’, while waxing about Barack Obama’s presidency on CTV’s Canada AM, providing election coverage on CBC Radio One’s Metro Morning, debating legal issues on CTV Newsnet’s The Verdict, and musing on millenial generation activism on TVO.  Behind the camera, Dalton has produced documentaries about barbershop culture (More Than a Haircut premiered at the 2009 Reelworld Film Festival) and human beatboxers (CBC Radio One’s Outfront), and has worked on CBC and SUN TV broadcasts of the CUMA’s (Canadian Urban Music Award) as a scriptwriter for Gemini Award-winning comedian Russell Peters among others.

Recently, Higgins has been indulging his other passion, Fatherhood, and has been hailed as an important voice on the subject, for a new generation of diverse, hipster-leaning, technology-driven dads. In his book Fatherhood 4.0, Higgins is credited with kick starting a cool diverse dads movement – a modern day menaissance! As a long time facilitator with the More Than A Haircut fatherhood program, Higgins’s Fatherhood 4.0 book contains candid interviews with some of Canada’s most acclaimed personalities, public figures, intellectuals, entertainers and athletes including Michael “Pinball” Clemons, Broken Social Scene’s Charles Spearin, Major League Soccer MVP Dwayne De Rosario, best-selling author Lawrence Hill, and MuchMusic VJ and Fucked Up lead singer Damian Abraham.