History through Hip Hop (HHH)

HHH targets school retention and literacy by employing, high-risk students to write, record, and produce original music.

    HHH also achieves the following outcomes:

  • Uses Hip Hop art and culture to inspire student interest in history and literature and to provide students with the tools to become a positive voice in their community
  • Helps connect teens with modes of self-expression by teaching them to write, produce, and perform original songs
  • Increases interest in technology by teaching music production

2012 Program Update

In 2012, HHH expanded its artistic base to encompass dance choreography as well as video production and visual arts. MMAP engaged nearly 100 local, at-risk youth, ages 14-22 in an art apprentice model. Each of the three cohorts worked with professional artist to advance their artistic skills and explore curriculum that increased literacy and critical thinking skills. The lyrical cohort, led by Keith Cross and James Chitty, taught apprentices to write, perform, and record original Hip Hop songs using lyrical devices such as alliteration, metaphors, similes, and hyperboles all of which were demonstrated in the final 18- track album. The dance cohort, led by Lauren Camarillo, taught apprentices new choreography exploring various styles of contemporary dance. The production cohort, led by renowned graffiti artist, Edward "Scape" Martinez and local DJ and producer, Jamaal "Future" Mashak, taught apprentices to use art, design, and technology to create original beats, capture photographs and video footage, and make promotional materials for the programs. Lastly, the live instrumentation cohort, led by Justin Phipps, taught apprentices to use orchestral instruments to complement Hip Hop lyricism and theatrics.

HHH 2012 culminated with a regional premiere in four cities: Menlo Park, San Francisco, East Palo Alto, and Stanford. "This Ain't the 90s: Leadership In Action" reached over 4,750 people with an audience of underserved and ethnically, generationally and economically diverse people. The tour integrated Hip Hop music, live instrumentation, Spoken Word, and dance choreography to expose audiences to lyrics that express a positive image of East Palo Alto including: entrepreneurship ("Entrepreneurs"), environmental responsibility ("Home Grown"), media equality ("Don't Believe the Hype"), and community peace ("The 90's"). The tour evoked the urban spirit through its imaginative word flow, rhetoric, and visual appeal, as it addressed complex issues of leadership in the communities the tour reached.

Chronology of Events

In 2004, MMAP piloted the History Through Hip Hop Program. Since 2004, HHH has educated, empowered, inspired, united, and employed a diverse population of youth from East Palo Alto, East Menlo Park and Redwood City to produce positive, research-based music, and dance performances. The program's original recording facility in Los Altos was custom built and installed by the students and staff of the program in 2006 to meet a growing need and demand for full-time access to studio and class space. The MMAP studio, now in East Palo Alto, is a hub for teen lyricists, producers, dancers, studio engineers and public speakers under the instruction and mentorship of dedicated MMAP staff, largely comprised of Stanford student leaders and volunteers. In 2007, after the release of the HHH debut compilation, "Natural Born Leaders," the HHH program received a substantial increase in interest and was compelled to expand the performance aspect of the HHH program.

Stanford's Caribbean Student's Association sponsored the first opportunity for HHH students to perform in a prestigious, and professional venue with "The Movement Concert 2007" at Stanford's Dinkelspiel Auditorium. The Movement creates a unique point of access for socially polarized communities. In 2007 The Movement featured the HHH collaboration with the Amy Biehl Foundation and the Soweto Dance Ensemble to write and perform the AIDS Awareness song "Contagious."

"The Movement Concert 2008" at Stanford's Kresge Auditorium was equally successful bridging regional youth artists and performers with the Stanford community. In 2008, Stanford's multi-cultural A cappella group, Talisman, joined forces with HHH youth, and South African musicians, to write, record and perform a powerful song paying tribute to the struggle to overcome years of apartheid. Capitalizing on this powerful, international collaboration with the Talisman, HHH headlined at The Movement Concert 2008.

Mural Video

Takin’ It Back

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Mural Video

One Love, Many Voices: A Call to Peace

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All On Me