CONNECTING YOUTH THROUGH HIP HOP
The Hip Hop Transformation (THHT) is an award-winning program for youth between the ages of 14-18 offered by the Cambridge Community Center in partnership with The Bridge Sound and Stage, the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program, and the Cambridge Safety Net Collaborative. THHT teaches teens the history of hip hop culture, the role hip hop culture plays in their lives and society, and equips students with the resource and support to produce, write, record, perform, and distribute their own authentic hip hop music.
THHT is made possible through generous contributions from community members, local businesses, and foundations including The Boston Foundation’s Shout Syndicate Fund and the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s YouthReach Program.
Who We Are:
The Hip Hop Transformation (THHT) is a year-round program, offered by the Cambridge Community Center that teaches teens the history of hip hop culture, the role it plays in their lives and in society as a whole, and equips teens with the skill set to produce write, record, perform, and distribute their own authentic hip hop music. Our program culture is one that revolves around authenticity, creativity, and connection to one another. Within this culture youth are held accountable not just by the adults working with them, but also by their peers who are collaborating with them to create the best final product possible for the community. The accountability, collaboration, and leadership skills that the youth receive mirror many of the 21st Century Skills that young people need to prepare themselves for a career.
THHT works to dispel myths and rumors about what hip hop is and return hip hop culture to its founding roots - before major record labels invested in it and turned it into something it was never meant to be. What young people hear on the radio and in mainstream media today is far from the politically-charged, socially-empowering hip hop music from the 70s and early 80s.
Our students are artists, but they are also activists. We call our performances outreach events for authentic hip hop. We make sure our music is appropriate for all ages, so young children can listen to what authentic hip hop should sound like without their parents worrying about the messages they may be receiving through the music. We do not call our program a "positive" hip hop program - we prefer the word "authentic". Life isn't always positive and THHT gives young people a chance to use their authentic voice to express whatever it is they are feeling - positive or not - and be heard.