Ex-Rap Producer Trains to be a Composer in KC
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Starting as a teenager, Kerwin Young helped craft the sound of Public Enemy, the latest rap group inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Now the 43-year-old is shaking up the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance, where he's honing his skills composing orchestral music.
As a former member of Public Enemy's Bomb Squad production team, Young didn't exactly have a traditional musical background. While he could compose his own orchestral scores, his training didn't come from a childhood of violin and piano lessons. It came from working as a disc jockey, producing hip-hop and poring through music books to figure out what he didn't know.
The composition program says Young has led it to revise admissions standards and how it trains students.