A couple of US beatmakers have teamed up to teach youth communities in Africa, Central America and the South Pacific how to make hip-hop tracks. The Beat Making Lab webisodes are supported by the University of California, crowd-funding and other sources, and filmed in partnership with PBS.
The goal of the initiative is to create 'cultural diplomacy and conflict resolution through hip-hop.' Traditional rhythms are blended with hip-hop, and personal and communal themes expressed through the music created.
Instead of building a stationary lab, the duo wanted the freedom to move around to give greater access to communities with the recording equipment, as most of these developing countries don't have access to the basic technical set-up and skills.
Some would say too grandiose a goal? However it's a fact that hip-hop is a vibrant part of youth culture. By using a medium that naturally resonates with youth means the engagement levels will be higher. And through creating and promoting music, self-empowerment will be achieved together with a sense of community and entrepreneurship. Necessary foundations in dealing with conflict resolution.