Lyricism &Leadership: Hip-Hop & Community Change



Since the mid 80's the musical art form known as Hip-Hop has been used to communicate, educate and change the complex dynamics of urban communities. Hip-Hop lyricists have used the craft to speak about the realities and experiences of their daily lives and as a result, provided leadership and a voice to those in their community who could relate. Hip-Hop has also been used as a platform for community awareness, education, and activism.  While the genre known as Hip-Hop has urban beginnings it has now become one of the most popular music genres in the world bridging gaps between race, creed, culture, language and geographic divides.



Indie Hip Hop artist Devine Carama (Believing in Forever) and CIL Director, Bryan Hains co-teach a course in the Department of Community and Leadership Development. During the course, students are challenged to use the music genre Hip Hop to discuss community development issues. As such, a very diverse group of students (age, ethnicity, cultural backgrounds, socio-economic status etc.) write, sing and produce albums to promote community education and community change. To further expand their community development focus, proceeds from the album support student chosen non-profit organizations. Past beneficiaries include On the Move Art Studio and OMAC (Operation Make a Change). It can be argued that this course is highly innovative in that is co-taught by an internationally known Hip-Hop artist and community activist (Devine Carama) and community educational expert (Bryan Hains). Furthermore, it is a student directed, performed and produced class. Lastly, while the class itself builds community among the students and instructors, it also provides community economic development as all proceeds from the sales of the EP are given to budding local non-profit organizations.

Photo Credit: Brandon S. Turner

Photo Credit: Brandon S. Turner

Photo Credit: Brandon S. Turner

Photo Credit: Brandon S. Turner



To date we have sold copies to over four countries and has raised over $3,500 for local non-profits.  To download and purchase a copy please click the following albums:

Photo Credit: Brandon S. Turner

Photo Credit: Brandon S. Turner