Hip Hop is continually getting negative press. In order to combat this, Emile YX (also known as Emile Jansen) and the Heal the Hood Project have decided that they need to teach their version to the next generation.
"POC, Black Noise, Godessa, 5th Floor, Conquering Lions, BVK, Tumi, Zubs, Knaan... what is considered conscious hip hop, will not be played on mainstream national radio, because it speaks of upliftment," says Emile, "yet gangs, drugs, bling bling, pimps and other negative images of Africans are sanctioned by rap selected by collar and tie wearing businessmen who run radio stations and televisions globally. Why is that? Its ironic that they then blame the artists they decide to play on their radio stations for the content they choose to play. Why is that?"
Emile YX of South African Hip Hop Group Black Noise and Heal the Hood Project have created a one year practical course for young hip hop dancers.
The course covers a range of issues and subjects to do with the Hip Hop industry including:
Performance skills like stage presence, originality of performance, mic control; - Production of a play; - Touring nationally and internationally; - Proposal writing and Fund-raising and; - Sound engineering; to name but a few.
Emile is a qualified school teacher and has just completed his second solo album, named ROAR - Live it Loud, African and Proud. Emile has decided to turn his performance with the solo album into an opportunity to school the next generation of hip hoppers with skills to manage themselves and survive from the creative skill in the same way that he has.
Emile decided to start with dancers, because that was his introduction into hip hop culture as a breakdancer in 1982, before they started Black Noise in 1988.
"The agreement we have with the dancers is that they will teach others what we have taught them," he says.
Unlike most schools, Emile will create performances to pay these students a monthly wage.
This years three lucky students are Latecia Fisher aka Snoekie, Alfred Burgess aka B-Boy Benny and Daniel Van Wyk aka B-boy D-Rock. They will tour locally with Heal the Hood and African Hip Hop Indaba from 15 May until 30 June.
They then tour England and Italy before returning to South Africa for the African Hip Hop Indaba and My Hip Hop Play in August and September. They end the year with African Battle Cry in December. This year will determine the syllabus and create a blue-print for the schools future that will hopefully become self-sustainable from this model.
If you or your school is interested in Heal the Hood Project doing a performance or assisting with anti-drug, anti-crime, fund-raising programmes, etc. phone Fabian at (021) 706 0481 or 073 136 6140.
Contact Emile on (021) 706 0481 or 082 395 8125