Written by K. Elizabeth Hanson, Social Media Intern
Beat Rhymers is a creative writing, rapping and poetry class where our youth are challenged to create their own unique rhymes and beats based on their personal identities. This program allows our youth to perform and record their own original songs in student showcases. LJ, one of our youth, speaks to his experience in our Beat Rhymers program. “I feel BEAT has helped me to grow, not only musically, but as a person. You know putting me on stage, and things like that making me a co-facilitator of a whole classroom. That sort of thing pushes you in a way to be more comfortable with yourself. Imagine yourself performing something that you wrote that is close to your heart in front of a whole auditorium full of people.”
During the Beat Rhymers program, LJ started recording his own beats. LJ said that he “probably wouldn’t have graduated if BEAT wasn’t in school. I was really close to just dropping out. But BEAT made it easier for me to kind of deal with the whole high school thing”. LJ now works as an engineering assistant in a recording studio in Brooklyn, known as “The End”. LJ released his first album: A Sonic Tale of Growth and Discovery in 2016. You can hear his music at ljbeats.bandcamp.com. LJ says that, “BEAT has helped me to develop social skills that I didn’t have before. As a young dude, I was very introverted, now I am not.” LJ is just one of the many youth who have found themselves through our program.