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Big Rube inspires Georgia Southern students during Jane Page Lectures Series


Atlanta rapper and hip-hop producer Ruben Bailey took the stage at Georgia Southern University on Friday, April 20 but this time he was not performing. Bailey, also known as Big Rube, shared with the students on the Statesboro Campus the story of his career and why he choose to focus his lyrics on positive messaging for youth.

A first generation member of the landmark Dungeon Family hip-hop collective, Bailey explained that he felt a sense of responsibility for what his music and lyrics could be teaching listeners.

“When you get into the public eye and youth start to look up to you and emulate you, I think you have a responsibility…to decide what you are going to present to those youth,” he said.

A “trademark” of the Dungeon Family and one Bailey says he holds personally is “to be real and not do anything that promotes negativity.”

While Bailey continues to have a successful career in the hip-hop industry today, the start of his career in the early 1990s was a breakthrough in the Southeastern United States for the hip-hop industry. He recalled a time when trying to produce an album required he and his colleagues to travel to New York or Los Angeles. During their first trips to see the record executives, Bailey said producers had never heard southern rappers.

“They said, ‘these records sound good. The beat sounds good, but why are these guys so country?’”

Bailey said he nor any member of the Dungeon Family let that discourage them from pursuing their dreams, and all of their hard work and perseverance paid off. Having worked with well known artists including OutKast, Bubba Sparxxx, Goodie Mob, Killer Mike and Witchdoctor, Bailey says he continues to work with new and upcoming artists today but also enjoys traveling and speaking to youth about pursuing their dreams.

“You have to have confidence and pride in your product,” he said. “I don’t care what it is…or what you are doing. You have to be the first person to believe in it when you are creating something.”

This lecture was a part of the Jane Page Lecture Series that was named for College of Education (COE) professor emerita Jane Page, Ed.D. After serving the College for 26 years and upon her retirement in 2005, Page created the Jane A. Page Distinguished Lecture Fund to provide an opportunity for the Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading to host a lecture series. The fund allows an experience for COE students and faculty to hear from notable professionals in the field of education.

This lecture was also supported by Georgia Southern University’s Center for Africana Studies and the Department of Political Science and International Studies, as well as Meritt & Meritt Law Firm.

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