On this episode of Hip-Hop Can Save America! — one of my favorite intersections — Hip-Hop Therapy! Social worker and artist J.C. Hall breaks down how Hip-Hop can heal the wounds we can’t always see.
Peace and love everyone, it’s your friendly neighborhood Hip-Hop advocate Manny Faces, and this is Hip-Hop Can Save America! Aka the world’s smartest Hip-Hop podcast!
But before we get started, who the hell are you??
I’m trying to learn more about exactly who is listening to this show — there are thousands of you but I’d like to know you all a little better!! If you love what we do, feel free to shoot an email to email@example.com and just say hi, or suggest a guest or topic, invite me to speak somewhere, whatever! Shouts to folks who have already reached out: Aime Nous, Jo Gorniak and Street Factory, SQUISH1, Tamar B. — I really appreciate hearing directly from you all!
Now, on to the episode. Prior to the pandemic, and at the insistence of one of our prior guests Dr. Elliot Gann, I visited Mott Haven Community High School in the Bronx, to see J.C. Hall’s Hip Hop Therapy Studio program in action. This full fledged recording studio was filled with students, hanging out after school to craft, rehearse and record music and spoken word. They were engaged, excited, and bursting with creative brilliance. On the surface, you might think this was simply a music class, an extracurricular club.
In some ways, it was. But it’s so much more than that. See, this is what Hip-Hop therapy can look like. The concept and the program was showcased in the award-winning documentary short Mott Haven, exploring how this work was able to so effectively address grief and trauma in the wake of a school tragedy, and after having seen just a taste during my own visit, I wasn’t surprised in the least.
So, after much too much time, I finally reached out to kick it with J.C. Hall about the program. Hall, a 2020 Jefferson Award winner for outstanding public service related to this work, broke down how the worlds of Hip-Hip and therapy can — and should – combine.
If you ask me, healing never sounded so good.
So, remember your homework my friends — 1) please shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and 2) tell at least two people about this show — someone who loves hip-hop culture and would love to hear about how it’s helping improve humanity, and maybe someone who you think would say that Hip-Hop has no place in educational or therapeutical settings. We’re here for them all.
Now, here’s my talk with J.C. Hall.