Profile: Tony Anderson
Bachelor of Arts vocal music, 2000 | CEO of Vizionary Productions; Doctoral student in hip-hop and education at the University of Delaware, Wilmington, Del.
Many Hats | Anderson—a teacher, live hip-hop disc jockey, music producer and composer—developed an educational program that uses hip-hop music as a means of exposing elementary and secondary school students to a wide range of life skills, from basic writing to business networking to career opportunities. The Delaware State Board of Education is now working to include some of his practices in its curriculum.
Worldwide Success | Anderson’s approach is best reflected in the success of Bassline Entertainment, a hip-hop group he assembled with 13 students, many of whom are underachievers. The group has taken its positive messages on tours of the United States and England. The students handle their own business and even have their own line of clothing.
X Days | Anderson came to the University on a music scholarship. He served as the Musketeer mascot, president of Alpha Phi Alpha, legislative vice president of the black student association, sang in a group called Trifecta and sat on a host of committees. He also helped with strategic program planning for African-American students and was instrumental in launching Greekfest and the Miss Black and Gold Pageant.
Rap It Up | At Xavier, Anderson launched his career as a DJ and built a thriving business. At one point, Anderson, whose stage name is DJ Tone Capone, decided to quit. “I tried to price myself out, but they kept paying. So I just kept doing it.”
Producing a Vision | Following graduation, Anderson headed to Florida to work on a master’s degree in education. While there, he started Vizionary Productions.
Worlds Collide | While student-teaching at an elementary school, Anderson began devising musical exercises for a class of behaviorally challenged students. The students bought into it, writing and recording a song, and generally changing their attitudes toward education.
Higher Ed | The success of the program brought Anderson public attention. As a result, a professor from the University of Delaware invited Anderson to the school to work on a doctorate while trying his hip-hop approaches with middle-school students—a project that became Bassline Entertainment.