the Cornel West theory is a Washington, D.C.-based ensemble, proudly born from the hip-hop aesthetic, but not bound by limitations of any genre. It’s an eclectic amalgam of spoken word, lyricism, instruments, electronics and vocals, which draw from genres ranging from home-grown go-go to jazz to rock to hip-hop. This “musical theory” is best understood as an artistic wavelength that hits you aesthetically, emotionally and intellectually. With the blessing of Dr. Cornel West, the Princeton University professor and renowned author, the band takes its name from his prolific writings and philosophies, which have shaped contemporary thought throughout the world. Inspired by D.C.’s rich musical history and the struggles of poor people worldwide, the ensemble formed in 2004 in response to social oppression everywhere. Winners of the 2008 Washington Area Music Association’s Wammie for Best Hip-Hop Duo or Group, the Cornel West theory released its debut album “Second Rome” in 2009. They are set to release their next full-length project in the summer of 2011. They are here to deliver music that holds a mirror to the world, with a core focus on political, cultural and spiritual commentary. They combine the essence of hip-hop with the original purpose of its movement: to speak truth to the masses. The ultimate griot, Dr. Cornel West, has recorded and appeared live with the band, sharing his unifying philosophy and highlighting the talents of this extraordinary ensemble.