Youngsters and their parents flocked to Akron’s Hardesty Park to show up at a hip-hop “boot camp” this July.
The function was the 2nd once-a-year boot camp created to train space youth the principal aspects of hip-hop and unfold a message of positivity.
Williamson mentioned Alien Arts works to encourage the community to be creative and go after profession passions, working with hip-hop methodology as a way to hook up to young individuals.
The group was started in 2020 and spun off from Williamson’s pursuits as a positive hip-hop artist.
He claimed hip-hop music and tradition are frequently perceived as violent and damaging.
”I’m just not about that, and I wouldn’t want the youth to truly feel like that’s their only possibility. I want them to hear some other constructive new music but not seem at it as becoming corny,” he explained.
He’s hoping to split the stereotypes, interact with the nearby youth, and be a pathway to careers through Alien Arts.
Redefining the public perception of hip-hop
Williamson modeled the hip-hop boot camp immediately after functions in New York City in the mid-1970s.
“There was a DJ by the name of DJ Amazing Herc who resolved to do an after-school block celebration to give teens retailers or have an setting that was constructive and absent from the gang action,” he said.
Hip-hop live shows and events are generally stigmatized and stereotyped as perilous.
“If you try out to guide a location, and you inform them it’s hip-hop: ‘Uh-uh.’ ‘Cuz they really feel like a good deal of fights are going to break out. There is likely to be violence and points of that mother nature,” he claimed. “So, when I plan an function, or Alien Arts, the non-revenue ideas an party, have confidence in me, there is no violence.”
The very first Alien Arts boot camp took location pretty much all through the COVID-19 pandemic in September 2020.
Right after some initial hesitancy about web hosting the party in person this summertime, Williamson stated he bought so a lot local community aid from the connections he’s built executing around Akron that he made the decision to move forward.
“Sometimes when you do factors, you sense like nobody’s paying notice or no one cares about your mission. But this has demonstrated me improper,” he claimed.
Web hosting an in-human being local community event
The 2021 boot camp integrated interactive, fingers-on functions and breakout classes concentrated close to the 4 core factors of hip-hop lifestyle: breakdancing, graffiti art, DJing and MCing.
Every single ingredient of the society was offered at the boot camp as a way to thrust the nearby youth toward accomplishing their long term plans.
“You can grow to be a DJ. You can turn into a muralist, painter, a tattoo artist. There are so a lot of professions that appear out of these factors,” Williamson claimed.
Attendees learned how to breakdance and create mini murals—a component of graffiti—based on their interpretation of hip-hop.
Williamson and other emcees taught rapping classes, and DJs demonstrated how to scratch and mix information.
Motivational speakers lectured on succeeding in the skilled planet of hip-hop and enjoyment.
“There’s so a lot of professions and so several distinct occupations you can go into. You don’t normally have to be the star. At times the people today behind the cameras are creating far more income,” Williamson mentioned.
Williamson wished to train young ones to make connections in the community so they can attain out to all those people as they get the job done towards their expert desires.
The boot camp aided little ones investigate the constructive side of hip-hop tradition, generate a persona, compose songs and see members of the neighborhood community who have succeeded in art, songs, dance, developing or teaching.
“We’re going to train this future technology a thing diverse,” Williamson stated. “Something filled with material and positivity.”
Main by case in point
Williamson invited a large roster of area creatives and industry experts to be element of the function, which includes his wife and musician La Butterfly, producer Junior Simpson, rapper Big Chedda and Ladies Initial Akron founder and head coach Kenny Jo Jo Smith.
Dray Evans led the visible art ingredient of the boot camp, instructing attendees about the different techniques they can specific by themselves visually.
Evans is an Akron-based mostly painter, tattoo artist, author, musician, filmmaker and motivational speaker.
“We [Akron] do not have a great deal of art districts, murals on the wall, visible, dance, all that culture,” Evans explained. “I want to start out a camp educating little ones art. Educate them to be absolutely free, have entertaining.”
Dre “Live” Borders, a member of the Akron hip-hop group Illstyle Rockers, led the breakdancing portion of the boot camp.
He wants to see much more activities like this transpire at parks in Akron.
“I desire the rappers would just get all over others at parks and rap,” Borders mentioned. “They never have to have the audio person. Provide your audio out, get loose and then have writer’s benches, b-boy benches. And if folks want to come about and just see who are the area hip-hop stars, I think that would be fantastic.”
When Smith took the phase at the boot camp, he led the crowd with a contact-and-reaction motivational speech.
“I am strong! I am impressive! I am a genius! I am that I am. So, I wished to make positive that you men recognize the electric power of the most powerful phrases in the earth: I am. But furthermore, mom and dad, young children, there is no restrictions to anything at all,” Smith said.
Turning out to be a good hip-hop artist
In 2010, the Akron firm Keepers of the Art hosted yearly hip-hop concert events and ran a contest for nearby artists to open for a massive-name act.
Williamson gained the contest and opened for Rakim and Slum Village.
“I wasn’t normally a beneficial hip-hop artist, and I listened to this was likely to be more of a relatives-welcoming party, so I started performing on some new material that was extra beneficial and uplifting,” Williamson explained.
Williamson stated mainstream rap is just “one side of the coin.” The rap tunes he writes and performs as Minus the Alien are clean up and aim to unfold an uplifting message.
“It definitely won above the crowd, and I don’t forget when I acquired off the phase, mothers and fathers had been coming up to me right after stating, ‘Kids seriously require to listen to or see hip-hop this way, also,’” Williamson claimed. “Never do I want to put one thing out in the universe that could hurt another person. Due to the fact words and phrases are highly effective.”
He commenced an after-school plan for a couple yrs, functioning with Middlebury Academy and charter educational facilities in Akron. He explained it was profitable.
Williamson is also an alumnus of the Community Management Institute of Summit County and gained the 2018 Adult men of Champions Award presented by Mayor Dan Horrigan and the Joy Park Neighborhood Federation.
He took a hiatus from neighborhood outreach and youth mentorship to emphasis on his new music for a number of decades.
“I preferred to get myself out there to a stage wherever I could really deliver in far more means for the youth and local community,” he explained.
He begun a file label, began creating connections and doing throughout the city.
Continuing to unfold the information
In 2020, he launched Alien Arts to proceed his concept of connecting with nearby youth through hip-hop society.
The organization partners with other regional nonprofits, colleges and church groups to get young ones intrigued.
“What built me truly want to get started Alien Arts was I experienced a ton of connections in the community, just from me in my absolutely free time, I did a great deal of [free] community exhibits when I was first beginning out,” Williamson mentioned. “Just required to spread a constructive concept. The pandemic slowed me down so significantly I was like, ‘I definitely am missing that neighborhood connection.”
Now, he’s making an attempt to tour Akron Community Educational institutions with assemblies to boost morale. He designs to host dance parties and smaller versions of the hip-hop boot camp in the upcoming.
“The society was not intended to tear down the group. It was intended to uplift the community. And I want this new era of younger young children, it’s possible starting up in elementary college, to be equipped to study about the background of that tradition,” he stated.
Williamson also needs to exhibit Akron-region hip-hop artists that they can open much more doors for by themselves by creating and releasing much more beneficial substance.
“When you appear with all that cussing, you’re shutting a great deal of doors. You’re not going to have a ton of possibilities to showcase it since of your content,” he said.
He has programs for expanding his information and hip-hop society through the city.
“My total mission on top of that is to protect hip-hop tradition, and I kinda want to make Akron be the next pit end to New York … like, ‘Where are all these hip-hop communities at?’ I would like to convert Akron into that mecca,” he explained.