Our Approach

Imagining a Liberatory Hip-Hop Pedagogy

Professionally, we believe that imagining a Liberatory Hip-Hop Pedagogy will significantly enhance the education and development of Black and minoritized youth through such research-based practices and approaches as:

  • Hip-Hop Based Education (Adjapong & Emdin, 2015)

  • Transformative Social and Emotional Learning (Jagers et al, 2019)

  • Culturally Relevant Pedagogy (Ladson-Billings, 1995; Gay, 2018)

  • Positive Youth Development (Lerner et al, 2011; Theokas et al, 2005)

  • Black Youth Development (Perkins, 2005)

  • Inclusive Making and Partnership (Worsley, 2020)

  • Critical Media Literacy (Kellner & Share, 2007)

  • Critical Race Praxis (Stovall, 2016)

Hip-Hop Based Mentoring

Our framework for Hip-Hop Based Mentorship (HHBM) builds on these approaches and leverages the discursive instruction and learning that happens between generations of RAP listeners and creators within Hip-Hop culture. Hip-Hop is a medium that unapologetically embraces Blackness (Dumar & Ross, 2016) and youthfulness and has been used for decades as a means for Black youth to provide social commentary on their surroundings.

HHBM is created by connecting McLeod’s (1999) dimensions of Hip-Hop authenticity and Williams’ (2015) dimensions of Afrocentric Rite of Passage. The goal of HHBM is to validate Black and minoritized youth’s tacit knowledge of power in society, in the spaces in which they spend their time, in their relationships, and in their lives. Youth gain this sense of psychopolitical validity through experiences where they can authentically express themselves in proximity to those with shared experiences (Watson, 2020).

The 7 Elements of Hip-Hop



Graffiti Artist





The Hip-Hop F.I.R.M.