* The science and politics of Hip Hop
* Hip Hop Pedagogy
* The criminalization and oppression of our youth
* Know your roots, Know your rights
* The art of nurturing your creativity and sustainability
* The art of words – sound – power
* The art of sound selecting
The science and politics of Hip Hop
‘Join the movement, seduced with this universal kinetic swift movement, infused with intelligence, souls in development.’ - ‘Hip Hop Locked’, Event Horizon, Mental Notes
Hip Hop is the beat of change that constantly changes its beat. Hip Hop is the voice of the struggle. Hip Hop is the rhythm of persistence and never stagnant. It is the universal language that speaks to youth, especially oppressed nationality youth. By going back to the roots of Hip Hop and refreshing its herstory/history, we can comprehend its relevance in the present and tap into its power for the future. As emcee’s, musicians, “activists”, social workers, revolutionaries, citizens and human beings we need to overstand Hip Hop culture in order to truly connect to each other in the multicultural and multigenerational world we live in. In this workshop we crack the code of how people and youth in particular respond to society by answering the following questions:
What is Hip Hop culture?
What are the elements of Hip Hop?
What has been the role of art & Hip Hop in social struggles?
How can Hip Hop be utilized as a transformative tool for social change?
How can Hip Hop facilitate personal growth, self- awareness and community accountability?
This workshop is for the emcee, musician and activist who wants to grasp the herstory/history of Hip Hop, take up responsibility and have an impact with her/his music. It’s for the educator, (music) teacher, music therapist, social worker, and parent who wants to overstand why the streets and the cypher can be more engaging and informative than the classroom, the meeting or the dinner table and wants to utilize the connecting and transformative power of art and Hip Hop.
Hip Hop pedagogy
‘We fight for liberation, fight for education, fight with these Hip Hop organized nations.’
- ‘Organize nations’, Dark Matters, spiritchild
We need to redefine our pedagogy. A lot of learning is disconnected and sees students as vessels to pour information into. People of the past don’t have the answers for the youth of the future. Revolutionary Hip Hop pedagogy places the student in the center, emphasizes the importance of mentorship and involves different ways and styles of learning (visual, auditory/ musical, kinesthetic, …). It meets the youth where they are, starting from their experiences, goals and talents. It creates youth leaders who become facilitators of their own learning process, develop their peers, are critical and independent thinkers who are accountable and have an impact in their communities and society as a whole. This workshop will allow you to assess, reevaluate, expand and evolve your own process based on the following points:
Why is it important to make the correlation with the current education system and oppression?
What is your role as a facilitator, social worker and educator (e.g.: in stimulating spontaneity, creativity and imagination)?
How does your classroom or your learning space (from seating to colors and aesthetics) liberate the minds of the youth, so they can experiment, explore and express?
What is your process of developing young leaders in your space?
How does your space facilitate tangible skills and connection to the community?
This workshop is for the social worker, educator, (music) teacher, music therapist who realizes that knowing about Hip Hop culture is one thing, applying Hip Hop pedagogy is another and wants to make an appropriate connection with the youth that she/he is working for and with.
The criminalization and oppression of our youth
‘I is your I. When you fight, I fight, you die, I die. I is your I, when you live to live, live to live. Rise.’
- ‘I is your I (Assata)’, Through Sips of Love & Hallucinations, Mental Notes
Textbooks and lectures only go so far, especially when we are talking about social change. To make social change happen we need to be connected to our communities, learn from the grassroots movements, study their trial and errors, setbacks and victories. Learn from movements of our streets, in our countries, on our globe. To make social change happen we need to be aware of the limitless and invisible links in between the industries and the weight they put on the shoulders of our youth, nationally and internationally. In this workshop we move beyond the illusion of borders and independence and acknowledge the reality of interdependence and intertwined struggles. We exchange and reveal connections between US, European and other international struggles by diving into the following topics:
What is Hip Hop culture?
What is the prison industrial complex and what are the connections between the prison system and the military?
How is policing in our communities a form of repression and oppression?
What does resistance look like in the US?
What does prefiguring a new society look like?
What is solidarity and why is it important for countries to be in solidarity with each other?
This workshop is for the world citizen who wants to have a clear understanding of the struggles in the US, wants to connect the dots and is open to hear the buzzing call for social change. It is for the activist who wants to learn from lived lessons and vivid experience to take vigorous actions.
Know your roots, Know your rights
‘I hate it when they tell us how far we came to be, as if our peoples history started with slavery.’
– ‘Leaving the past’, Revolutionary Vol.2, Immoral Technique
Policing in the streets, metal detectors, check points, being seen as commodities, from schools to prisons, it is not the way we are genetically prone to be.We didn’t always live this way. Indigenous people didn’t live this way. We exhibited more healing practices and were intergenerationally integrated by radical listening, respect from youth to elders and from elders to youth.
Knowing your roots is the necessary fundament to knowing your rights. Rights stem from laws created by man (those in power who benefit from the oppression of those individuals who are deemed insignificant for a “productive” society) and therefore are always changing. Next to learning the laws and our rights, it is crucial to know who we are as a people, to be aware of our rich history/herstory and how brilliant we were before this system of oppression. This way self-determination is restored and we (especially youth) feel a sense of worth in our communities.
The first step is knowing you have a voice, you can influence change and that it’s not a civil rights issue, it’s a human rights issue. During this workshop we will share simple and effective practices such as ‘know where you came from to know where you’re going’, ‘each one teach one’ and ‘cop watch’. We will unchain our imagination to go beyond what is expected of us when we react to state oppression, by covering the following topics:
What is the history of the nations before colonization?
What is the history of slavery and how is it connected to today’s system of oppression?
What are the strategies and tools that can be used effectively to combat these systems of oppression?
What are alternative models to the prison system such as restorative justice and police - community accountability?
Why is it important to understand the connections between the school to prison pipeline and the prison military industrial complex?
For citizens and “illegal” citizens, especially youth, who want to arm themselves with knowledge on the first steps to taking back their power from a repressive state. “Know thy self, know thy enemy, a thousand battles, a thousand victories ” – Sun Tzu.
The art of nurturing your creativity and sustainability
‘Resist, organize, rebel, feel the fire, react, prepare to ride, retell, write them rhymes.’
- ‘We acid’, Electric Cinnamon, spiritchild & Creatize Maze
We wait for the moment of recognition by the industry. An industry that when we become part of it, labels us, limits us, puts us in a box, while we lose touch with the people. Don’t wait for the industry to give you permission to do what you love. Don’t wait for a stage, create the stage. Be autonomous and fulfill your role as an artist, which is not about being above the people, but about being with and among the people. This allows you to continuously grow and improve, to push the envelope of 4/4 timing or a square painting. It invites you to find out what people care about, to develop the scientific part of your brain that makes your art relevant, relatable, accessible and valuable. This workshop will maximize your capacity to do what you love abundantly and without restraints by guiding you through the following questions:
How can you nurture your artistic identity?
How do you develop a holistic approach to your art form (share your art, talk about your art and teach your art)?
Why is it important as an artist on a grassroots level to speak about and practice authenticity?
How do you build a base of support?
How do you maximize your capacity to have impact with your art while staying true to your values?
This workshop is for the artist (visual artist, musician, performer, actor, poet, …), educator, professional who wants to be autonomous and create art and work on her/his own terms. Art and work that matters, shakes, stirs and transforms.
The art of words – sound – power
‘I could write till the ink stops to flow from my pen and still write within the memories of our being.’ - ‘Repatriation’, Eclipse of Hope, spiritchild
Creating a song is about embracing the opportunity to say something that has never been said before, both lyrically and musically. As songwriters we need to ask the song what story it wants to tell by eliminating the distraction, which is the human brain, from the equation. Songwriting is about channeling the conversation and higher purpose of a song, transcending the preconceived ideas of structure, allowing the music to elevate the words and vice versa. From Hip Hop to Reggae, from Pop to RnB, spiritchild has written songs that speak to the heart for over 25 years. In this workshop he will unravel the herstory/history and art of songwriting, how to overcome the myths of writer’s block, how to write anywhere anytime and derive inspiration from nature, from chaos, from our surroundings by addressing the following topics:
What is the origin of song?
Where do great songs come from?
Why should your song have meaning?
How can your song tell a true story?
What is your song worth both for the industry and philosophically?
For the songwriter who wants to make meaningful songs, realize and actualize the hidden or non-spoken value of her/his songs and overstand her/his worth towards creating a new society or civilization as creators and visionaries.
The art of sound selecting
‘Keep the blood pumping. Hit them with something. Give the club substance.’
- ‘She be freedom’, Eclipse of Hope, spiritchild
Technology and computerization make us dj’s/soul selectors a dying breed and spaces to exchange frustrations and joys, techniques and stories limited. No Pandora, Spotify or iPod playlist can tap into the emotions of people like another human being can. A dj displays the craft of human contact and interaction, motivates the movement and presence of the crowd and is the ultimate facilitator. As a dj it is important to be aware of our purpose, to know our herstory/history, where we come from and where we are going. Courage is needed to offer food for the soul by mixing rhythms and blending sounds that can alter the mood and intensify the atmosphere, by first of all loving what you play and playing what you love. In this workshop we will discuss how to push the crowd, be creative, embrace failure and believe in our sound and skills by reflecting on the following points:
What is the purpose of a dj/soul selector?
What are the techniques used to liven up a party?
How can you manipulate frequencies to create the kind of mood you want in the space?
How do you deal with challenging and interruptive behavior behind the decks/1 & 2’s?
How can you assert yourself and ask for what you are worth?
This workshop is for the dj/soul selector who wants to move the crowd, move their soul and not lose themselves in the process.
‘Move till you can’t breath, finish what you start. Movement in motion, give it your heart. Challenges start, break apart with your art, star that you are.’ - ‘Push’, Electric Cinnamon, spiritchild & Creative Maze
spiritchild offers personal coaching to musicians, bands, performers and artists who want to hone their artistic expression and identity and are looking for guidance along their creative journey. Personal coaching can range from fine tuning your craft, receiving constructive feedback, discovering the keys of the music business to redefining your purpose as an artist and developing an artist manifesto.