Our Goal

Offering Music Camps

The Rap America Project goal is to reach underserved youth in the Boise Idaho area by offering music camps focusing on diversity and rap music.

According to the New York Times article dated March 4, 2021 titled “The Artists Dismantling the Barriers Between Rap and Poetry,” ‘…Rap music tends to attract black and brown people…,’ and according to NPR’s March 23, 2023 article titled “You gotta fight and fight and fight for your legacy,” ‘…The Furious Five, is often credited with coining the term ‘hip-hop,’ and, in 1979, the trio The Sugarhill Gang released ‘Rapper’s Delight,’ which broke the music for a national audience.’

The project we propose offers a place for youth from diverse backgrounds to learn more about rap. Hip Hop is similar to Rap music but Hop Hop is also known to include clothing and lifestyle culture along with Rap music. According to Billboard and Nielsen, in 2022 Hip Hop was the #1 genre in the United States and is most popular among teens and young adults. Our proposed project was created to reach this young demographic, by offering summer music programs that they would be interested in attending.

 

 

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Rap America Project was the idea of Audio Educator & Project Director, Brenda Francis. With the nonprofit organization, the Boise Hive, Brenda plans to offer two music camps focusing on rap music in the summer of 2024, with 20 students attending each camp. The ages served will be 13 through 22 years old, reaching area high school and college age students. The same camp will be offered twice (a total of two camps) so that those who are not available to attend the first camp will be able to attend the second one. Those who do attend the first camp may also attend the second camp (space permitting), to become peer-to-peer mentors and continue their learning process. Student to professional artist ratio will be four students to one professional artist. This is to provide hands-on experience working directly with music industry professionals’ guidance.

Successful local rap producers, music beat writers (composers), lyric and poetry writers (songwriters), and recording engineers will all work at the camps, becoming mentors to attendees and giving them instruction and exposure to different artistic options, knowledge and common industry techniques. Staff will strive to keep lyrics radio-friendly and topics respectful towards all people. There will be a showcase at the end of each two-week camp at the Boise Hive stage; this is the same stage where a weekly show called ‘Live at the Hive’ is already being successfully carried out to a live audience and streamed on several platforms. These showcases, like the weekly ‘Live at the Hive,’ will be free and open to the public. The show will feature the students performing an original rap song that they wrote as well as a group song of four students rapping together.

Marketing for the project will be done with the use of the Boise Hive’s donated Google Ad dollars, social media, a dedicated web site linked to the organization’s main website, and printed materials. Project music professionals will also share the information with their peers and followers. The Project Director will network with music teachers at public schools and community centers to distribute the information as well.

The camps will be free to attend and a simple online form to apply will be designed. It will cover questions of musical background and aspirations. If there are too many sign-ups, priority will be given to applications based on artistic merit and perceived dedication. A panel of three people: the project director, the Boise Hive programs director, and a youth mentor (who is also a well-known performing rap artist and teacher) will review all applicants. There will be a waiting list, if needed, and in order to hold a space a student will need to pay $40. This is to have buy-in, also known as skin in the game. The $40 is fully refundable after they attend the majority of the days at camp and the showcase. Any monies not refunded will be spent on getting additional related supplies (such as songwriting supplies) to give away to the students who did finish the camp.

Attendees will go on a field trip to see live venues in the area and get behind-the-scenes tours of rap-friendly places to perform. They will also learn about equipment needed to perform and record their songs. Hands-on training about microphones, cables, common recording software programs, and mixing/mastering music techniques will be covered. At the end of the camp they will have each written and recorded one original rap song and one group rap song with four rappers per group.

Staff for the project will be chosen from successful music professionals in the Boise, Idaho area whom are known for their musical ability, rap music experience, dependability, and experience working with at-risk youth. The administrative and marketing team will also be from musical backgrounds, with in-depth experience in successful business practices and team building.

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