Los Angeles, CA, September 2017 – One of the nation’s first high school based Hip Hop culture class is kicking off the 2017-2018 school year as a UC/CSU approved course. After a successful nine year run empowering hundreds of Los Angeles students, 2017 marks a new chapter for Global Awareness through Hip Hop Culture (GATHC) as it is now officially offered as a college preparatory elective course. University of California and California State University both require incoming freshmen to complete specific high school courses and GATHC will now help students get one step closer to college.
GATHC’s creator, Sebastien Elkouby, a writer and former music industry insider, started using Hip Hop culture back in 2000 to expose students to the culture’s rich artistic history as well as to teach them media literacy, social studies, and music production. In 20006, he was tapped by the Kanye West Foundation to develop a Hip Hop program for middle school students. A year later, Elkouby established GATHC, at the time one of the only Hip Hop culture classes in the country offered to students during regular school hours. Elkouby remembers, “When I was a teen in the late 80’s, Hip Hop culture was empowering and much more balanced than today. Rap music from artists like Public Enemy and Queen Latifah helped shape my worldview and gave me a sense of awareness I never learned in school. So I set out to develop a Hip Hop based educational program to teach students what I wish I would’ve been taught…and it’s been an amazing journey.”
In the last 10 years, GATHC has welcomed Hip Hop icons MC Lyte and KRS-One as special guests, collaborated with the Red Bull Music Academy, Interviewed legendary DJ Premier for the school newspaper, and been featured in various documentaries. This school year, GATHC will welcome students with a brand new, professional recording studio built right into the classroom, a generous gift from the school to its deserving students. In 2017, GATHC looks forward to partnering with new organizations and welcoming new and established Hip Hop artists interested in sharing their experience with a new generation of students…and maybe even recording a song with them!
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