ProfessU is designed exclusively for a wide and diverse audience with enlightened curiosity. ProfessU was created to give a positive voice to entertainment and sports figures in trending news, interviews and unique spotlights. ProfessU promotes these positive images, videos, and stories to allow our audience to experience the multifaceted nature of the individuals we highlight, which our audience is generally limited to observing only isolated aspects of these well-known figures’ lives. Delivering unparalleled access into their work ethic, education, volunteerism, and philanthropy, ProfessU gives you more where you have been receiving less.
Before reaching the pinnacle of success in the rap game; before electric crowds echoed their names in a stadium; before holding beloved Grammy Awards and Superbowl rings in their hands; before jumping into politics, and brokering sneaker deals and designing multi-million dollar clothing lines… many of America’s most popular entertainers, athletes and well known individuals in the industry used education as Plan A or Plan B to catapult themselves into stardom.
Meet ProfessUs Visionaries
Dr. John Hamilton has had a passion for hip-hop and other genres of music since he can remember. His greatest love remains for hip-hop, his connection grew after seeing Krush Groove and Beat Street on the big screen. Dr. Hamilton has taken his love for the hip-hop culture and his research on retention issues for students’ of color to examine how education and hip-hop can be prioritized to create options.
Dr. Hamilton’s passion led him to listen more to the lyrics to interpret the story and messages presented by hip hop icons from Public Enemy, Eric B. & Rahim, Jay Z, Nas, and Tupac to name a few. Because of his passion for music, you can often hear him playing Northern California’s rapper Paris or John Mayer in his Race, Class or Gender class to college students to interpret more meaning to the curriculum.
Hamilton has presented at numerous conferences and workshops on the plight of African American males. He is the author of Cinque: Rites Of Passage, The Elevator is Broken and Vainglorious: How Today’s Black Men Graduate from College. In addition, he is the Co-Publisher of The California Charter News a newspaper dedicated to empowering charter school parents.
Dr. Hamilton earned his Doctoral degree in Education (Organizational Leadership) from the University of La Verne, Masters of Education from Loyola Marymount University, and Bachelors in Sociology from San Diego State University.
As the son of a father who was a marching band drummer, and a mother who was a music major in college, it is obvious why Dr. John “Eye-Q” Spruill III could not escape a passion for music. When hip-hop hit the airwaves, his mom purchased Kurtis Blow’s “The Breaks” 12-inch vinyl for him. That was the beginning of his love affair with hip-hop.
By way of his father’s record collection, Dr. Spruill would “research” the origins of songs and artists once hip-hop became sample-heavy. He ultimately became a recording artist himself as a part of the group known as Da Dozenz. Notably, they appeared on an Immortal/Sony Records LP titled “The Next Chapter”, with a song which charted in various regions nationally. As a result, he performed alongside Jay-Z, Wu-Tang Clan, and various other household names when they were positioning themselves to become icons, but always continued to ensure that his educational foundation was firm.
After graduating from Hampton University with a degree in Political Science, Dr. Spruill remained at Hampton to complete a Master’s Degree in Communicative Sciences and Disorders. He then went on to Purdue University to complete the nation’s first and only dual-title doctoral degree meshing Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences and Gerontology, and then returned to his beloved Hampton University to teach in the Communicative Sciences and Disorders department for two years. Dr. Spruill then relocated to Los Angeles, where he now teaches at California State University, Los Angeles, as well as California State University, Dominguez Hills.
Dr. Spruill remains a creator of music, but now puts more emphasis on the overall preservation of the hip-hop culture, specifically by injecting it with responsible contributions. While higher education has allowed him to become co-author of several published research studies, and a presenter at various conferences, he has most recently served as chief editor of the highly acclaimed “Wretched, Pitiful, Poor, Blind, and Naked” by Gene Thornton, formerly known as “Malice” of the Grammy-nominated group, Clipse.
Dr. Spruill is also currently involved in developing shows, and several other culturally-based preservation projects, one of which is documenting the unsung history of the influential Solar Records, and another which focuses on the hip-hop history of Los Angeles.