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Hip Hop Dreams and the Duels of Juels

 

 

Although fresh out of college, Julian "Juels" Pierrot is a young man with drive, direction and passion. Just before fall 2009, he was urged to go to the South by his baseball coach back in Jersey City, N.J. While he had his reservations about Julian3.jpg
becoming even loosely affiliated with anything with "Alabama" in its name, he showed up on the campus of Alabama A&M University, where he was, in fact, supposed to be one of four fellows from Jersey.

 

Rather than give way to despair, Pierrot found solace in the school’s communications program and soon immersed himself in it, thanks to the support he received from instructors Javier Thompson and Ed Journey.

 

What he is most appreciative for, even above the numerous campus and local video projects and among everything else, is his acquired ability to produce and to pull resources and people together to work in pursuit of a common goal.

 

But it is his passion, perhaps, that sets Pierrot miles apart from many. He interned a summer before the launching of the tenth year of the noted Brooklyn Hip-hop Festival, which has attracted performances by Kanye West and, most recently, Jay-Z.

 

Now Pierrot, an AAMU alum, is listed as the current contact for the festival’s marketing and communications efforts.

 

A product of Haitian-American parents, Pierrot says the term work and his folks are synonymous. His mother is a hardworking nurse, while his father has worked for decades as a government employee. He said his younger sister is pursuing studies in interior design at the University of New Haven in Connecticut.

 

Armed with the experiences gained while working on a few large productions, Pierrot said he very much wants to launch a major project at A&M. His concept is to bring all HBCU students and alumni together to celebrate art and culture. The event would preferably be held on a feasible date this upcoming spring, and it would highlight expressions through dance, rap, art, deejaying, photography and other forms.

 

Pierrot said that pulling off the very first festival would require ample support from his established contacts and friends at Tuskegee, Alabama State, Oakwood, the Atlanta complex HBCUs and others.

 

He says he has tested the DNA of HBCUs and has found it often easier to dive in and complete a project to everyone’s liking than to work to secure a cumbersome array of approvals.

 

Pierrot believes that AAMU has ahead of it a continued legacy of contributors to the hiphop community ("DJ Infamous") and should embrace them.

 

Meanwhile, over the upcoming months, Pierrot will continue to work on the logistics and connections needed to achieve his vision for spring 2015.

Want to help? Pierrot welcomes assistance and input. Contact him at juelspierrot@gmail.com.

 
- Jerome Saintjones
(First published in
The Valley Weekly - 11/7/2014) 
 
Art by Josh Ryan
Photo by Jeremy Marc Anthony
Office of Marketing and Public Relations
Alabama A&M University
P. O. Box 1027 (303 Patton Hall)
Normal, AL 35762-1027
(256) 372-5654
(256) 372-5034 (Fax)
 
Jerome Saintjones, jerome.saintjones@aamu.edu, (256) 372-5607
Shirley Alexander, shirley.alexander@aamu.edu, (256) 372-5607
Interns/Bi-Weekly Students: (256) 372-5625