Dr. Melisa "Emetrece" Riviere is an anthropologist and Latina hip-hop audiovisual director, producer, and scholar. In 2010 she received her doctorate in Anthropology from the University of Minnesota as a MacArthur Scholar. Her research on the globalization of hip-hop and its local expressions between Cuba and Puerto Rico utilized music and audiovisual production as a unique disciplinary methodology. The same year, in Havana, the multimedia productions from her dissertation received the prestigious Lucas Award from the Cuban Institute for Radio and Television.
The artistic name Emetrece originated many years earlier in 1991 as a nom d' plume for anonymous publications by Melisa Riviere, written out as M13. her name containing 13 letters and with the initials MR could be scripted in such a way to appear as an M13. She later altered the writing of her name as "Emetrece" so as to identify with her Latina origin and target the Latino community. The word strategically includes 4 letters ‘E,’ each of which metaphorically relates to an element of hip-hop – DJ, graffiti art, break dance, and lyricism/rap.
Dr. Riviere has worked with Songo Sounds, Time Machine Squad, and The Lab Studios in Puerto Rico, as well as The Cuban Institute of Music, the Agency for Rap, La Fabri K, the Hermanos Saíz Association, Casas de Cultura, and Real70 Studios in Cuba. Her work on either island includes documenting hip-hop conferences, festivals, and live performances; leading keynote talks and pedagogical workshops; and producing musical recordings as well as video clips with Anónimo Consejo, Tego Calderón, Doble Filo, Los Aldeanos, SieteNueve, Intifada, Silvito el Libre, Escuadrón Patriota and Obsesión amongst others.
As a pioneer hip-hop scholar Dr. Riviere teaches courses on hip-hop for Anthropology, Global Studies, and History departments as visiting faculty at various universities and college campuses. She has published in a wide range of academic journals and popular culture magazines. Her audiovisual ethnographic publications have appeared in albums released by major music labels such as Atlantic Records and showcased in film festivals such as the Langston Hughes African American Film Festival.
In the role of co-founding director of the annual international summit titled “B-Girl Be: A Celebration of Women in Hip-Hop,” Dr. Riviere advocates for the empowerment of women and youth within the art movement. Merging academia with entrepreneurship, in 2003 she founded Emetrece Productions, an audio-visual production company and independent music label that focuses on "edu-tainment" to cross pollinate both fields and offer a new approach to the cultural industries
Dr. Riviere’s two decades of multimedia production, hip-hop education and “raptivism” has received the attention of media giants such as Reuters, Associated Press and CNN.
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