On Saturday, June 2, at , Brooklyn Philharmonic, as a part of its Bed-Stuy series and in conjunction with Readnex Poetry Squad, presented "Emcee Me," an interactive family workshop that introduces young people to another face to hip hop-- one that harnesses the social power and cultural legacy of the emcee led spoken word poetry known as R.A.P. (rhythmic amended poetry) and breakdancing, which has its beginning in the Angolan-Brazilian martial arts form known as capoeira.
Participants learned about hip hop's origins, why it evolved as a critical medium of communication that connects cultures across the glob and how the youth can best express themselves through this rich medium while also leverage its extraordinary impact.
Brooklyn Philharmonic invited Readnex Poetry Squad to speak to the Bed-Stuy youth because of the group's long-standing reputation for giving hip hop relevance beyond the negative stereotypes and presenting the art form in a way that empowers and uplifts.
The workshop was the next-to-final in Brooklyn Phil's Bed-Stuy series, which will culminate on Saturday, June 9, with a full orchestra concert featuring Bed-Stuy native Yassin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def) as he performs the classic ballads of legendary Bed-Stuy singer and activist Lena Horne, and the revolutionary music of Beethoven, remixed anew by emerging artists living and working in East Brooklyn today (more info about the Brooklyn Philharmonic Beethoven Remix Project is here).
The concert is free and will be held at Restoration Plaza at 8:00 p.m.