Beats, Rhymes and Life: Utilizing Hip Hop in Therapy for Youth

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Tiojanco, Arthur
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Since its inception, Hip Hop has been identified with one aspect of its culture, rap music which, in the mainstream perception only speaks on drugs, alcohol, violence, and misogyny. But this a limited view of Hip Hop. At its core, Hip Hop is a culture born from the struggle of marginalized youth, in particular Black and Latino youth from the Bronx, New York. The artforms that make up Hip Hop culture, DJing, breaking, graffiti art, and emceeing are tools that allow its practitioners to express their emotions, escape their hardship, find confidence in themselves and belonging in a community. For marginalized youth who may not identify with the traditional mental health supports provided, Hip Hop is presented as a culturally relevant form of music and art that they may be interested in engaging with. This capstone project explores the therapeutic aspects of the Hip Hop elements and how they are currently being used clinically around the world. A key contribution of this capstone project is to show that Hip Hop can be a viable tool to be used for youth in a group setting by presenting an outline of an after-school program that uses Hip Hop as its main therapeutic intervention.
group work , culturally relevant , hip hop , expressive arts , youth , mental health , after-school programming
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States , openAccess