about harry allen

HAheadshot-squareHarry Allen, Hip-Hop Activist & Media Assassin, hosts the blog Media Assassin at harryallen.info. There he has written about race, politics, and culture, much as he did for VIBE, The Source, The Village Voice, and other publications for over thirty years.

As an expert covering hip-hop culture, he has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, on National Public Radio, MTV, VH-1, CNN, the BBC, and other information channels. Others know him for his long-time association with the seminal band Public Enemy, and for his widely-heard “cameo” on their classic record, “Don’t Believe the Hype.”

Allen serves as an advisor to the Archives of African American Music and Culture (AAAMC) at Indiana University. From 2003-15, he was the host/producer of the weekly WBAI-NY/99.5 FM radio show, NONFICTION.

Harry Allen worked in the crisis p.r. / public affairs department of computer entertainment giant Rockstar Games from 2004-2006. (He considers his credit on the hit title Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas his proudest byline.) His early and singular research on architectural design in computer and video games has been recognized by the Graham Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Architectural League of New York, and the MacDowell Colony.

Allen lectures at colleges and universities around the country, speaking about  documentary photos he made of Public Enemy’s members before the band was formed. This talk, Shooting The Enemy, features images that have been shown in documentaries and magazines. Many of them are also now part of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture‘s permanent collection.

Allen is a 2017 Nasir Jones Hip-Hop Fellow at Harvard University. He is also a 2020 CAST (Center for Arts, Science, and Technology) Visiting Artist at M.I.T. Allen recently founded HARD, a boutique for developing “singular and outrageous” projects.

He lives with his wife, Zakiya, near Washington D.C.

Reach out to Harry Allen on Twitter: @HarryAllen.