HHCI'S Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is HHCI's ultimate goal for "having conversations" and "bringing artists and industry" to accountability and investment?
A. To build a bridge of transparent dialogue and understanding that helps to curb the incidence of teenage rebellion, violent culture and identity crises amongst our most at-risk and disadvantaged youth and young adults.
Q. Is HHCI's reason for engaging artist's about their lyrics, to actually incite censorship, to promote Christian values, or to silence the voice of free expression?
A. Absolutely, NOT! HHCI exists to foster a "deeper conversation" about the commonality and the difficulties of our "human experience" that we're all having, by strategically and thoughtfully getting beyond the surface of entertainment dialogue, to pinpoint life's-changing principles and practices that serve to help those still engaged in the struggle or in the pain.
Q. What is the responsibility of an HHCI "Regent"?
A. HHCI Regents are industry professionals and practitioners that want to use their affluence and influence to help the most at-risk and disadvantaged youth, by sponsoring youth attendance to music and entertainment events; by providing matching grants or corporate philanthropy for educational scholarships and internships; and by hosting industry tours for exposing the youth to the behind the scenes of the work.
Q. What does a HHCI Chapter Director do?
A. The HHCI Chapter Director (HHCI - CD) coordinates and facilitates the administrative and financial details of the local chapter, by carrying out the mission and vision of the national office. The HHCI - CD builds report and relationships with the local community -- youth/young adults, industry, youth advocates/leaders, and any/all youth affinity groups that serve at-risk and disadvantaged populations.
Q. What is your general belief about "expression" as a Christian and a pastor that "loves hip hop"?
A.ALL EXPRESSION is a revelation of the heart's experience and life position. "Living from the place your heart presently is", and is the key to "being authentic"; so GOD doesn't censor the noise or profanity of culture or society, and neither should we! EVERY EXPRESSION HAS VALUE, even if the context is negative, risky, or wrong. In order for "God's Truth" to have a landing place in the heart, every other opposing force or voice must be exposed! The scripture says, "It's not what enters the heart, but what comes out of the mouth..(Mark 7:15 and Matthew 15:11) (By Walter L. Smith III, WS-3)
Q. What is HHCI's Mission?
A. HIP HOP CULTURE INSTITUTE (HHCI) MISSION: The Hip Hop Culture Institute (HHCI)is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the advocacy, education and empowerment of our nation's youth and young adults, through the global influence and reach of "hip hop" culture and music, where we actively engage and foster change with: the music industry, the most influential artists, and the devoted youth leaders and concerned parents of our communities, with community chapters, conferences, focus groups, educational curriculum, and artist spotlights & special events. (HHCI Copyright January 2016)
Q. What is HHCI's Vision for the future?
A. HIP HOP CULTURE INSTITUTE (HHCI) PURPOSE/VISION: "Hip hop" DESPERATELY needs to be understood not just as a style or sub-genre of music, but as a culture with its own community, consciousness and cause. Hip hop has its own language, it's own idea of how to communicate; and it's own style. As such an undeniably powerful force and impact; the very potential to influence our youth is without limit. However, to this point, there has never been an educationally cohesive, exploratory or guided entity created, in order to help clarify the ideas and the messages broadcasted by this community; and HHCI will be that entity. There needs to be a value shift in hip hop, but not toward a specific political, ethnic or religious organization or party. But, towards a way of seeing one's self and the impact he/she can have on the world around us!
We have a responsibility to lead the young people who are within our sphere of influence, and in order to do that, one must have a "doctrine". Hip hop--as a culture--has proven that great change can occur when there is an actual cohesion of ideas. When multiple people all approach a goal from myriad angles, with different styles, words, sounds and images, the coherence and unity of their message pounds itself into our very souls, and it even affects the way we see the world around us and how we decide to interact with it. Hip hop needs to be able to support “civil” life. It needs to be able to highlight for people--and inform them about, ways they can better themselves as human beings. We have a responsibility to teach our children and their children how to live and thrive; not just survive.
One of the major goals of the Hip Hop Culture Institute is to explore in hip hop, the universal themes of humanity, or the things that connect us all as humans. Some of the ideas includes: Money Relationships Values Children Parenthood Personal Identity Freedom Education Power Race Culture and Legacy HHCI will open and sustain a discourse in Hip Hop about these themes in order to educate and enrich the members of the community. This is pivotal, because Hip Hop is a language and culture that permeates every aspect of our culture these days, whether in terms of style, sound or even psychology. And, because this language is not limited by color, creed or gender, it is powerful and potentially catalytic for being the cause of great change and transformation. "Every voice involved has the potential to create change!" The Hip Hop Culture Institute will be the anthropological entity that explores the culture of hip hop, and then memorializes the development of this growing tribe for those who will come after us.
We will "build our own pyramids, and write our own hieroglyphs." (Kendrick Lamar) HHCI (Copyright January 2016)