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.
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