Throughout this project young people from the Derby Roma Community Care Youth Club have developed a huge range of new skills to research and uncover stories of Derby hip hop history.
In order to increase their knowledge of hip hop, and to put the Derby hip hop history in context, they have researched the different hip hop elements. This has included Dance, MCs, DJs, Graffiti and Fashion using online sources plus the classic hip hop publication ‘Subway Art’ by Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant (right).
They have completed practical sessions in the different hip hop elements working with an artist to create graffiti pieces to represent different decades of hip hop (image left), writing and performing lyrics and mc’ing, learning about different music production techniques, and meeting Rukus from Trinity Warriors who features in the Deda dance photos (image right).
They have used online heritage resources including ‘Picture The Past’ to search for evidence of Derby hip hop. They have visited Derby Local Studies Library (image right) working with library staff to search the collections for records relating to Derby hip hop events.
They have developed film skills, digital photography, and interview skills with Front Row Films and East Midlands Oral History Archive. They have used these skills to document the project and interview people from Derby hip hop past and present. Interviews have been collected with Baby J, BFG, Skinny Man, Kyalo, JD, and Eyez covering over 30 years of Derby hip hop history.
They have used previously ‘hidden’ sources of Derby hip hop history for research including a collection of photos Derby hip hop happenings, a collection of photos of Derby park graffiti (image right), and a collection of flyers of Derby hip hop nights.
They have identified key sites of Derby hip hop history from their research and flyers. They have used maps from Derby Local Studies Library to plot these hip hop sites. A local artist has been able to worked with their maps and research to create a Derby hip hop history town trail. View the Derby Hip Hop Trail.
Young people have journeyed around the city with their maps and flyers to visit the hip hop sites – even when the original buildings have been knocked down. Image right ‘Where’s the hip hop gone?!’ on the site of Union One who hosted hip hop nights.
They have also visited Nottingham going to New Art Exchange to look at exhibition techniques (image right) and to visit a well know graffiti supply shop.
They have unleashed their creativity and expressed themselves creating their own graffiti artwork, writing and performing their own hip hop and creating their own fashion pieces. All of their work will be submitted for a nationally recognised Arts Award.
They have celebrated their achievements with a community event to showcase some of their work to friends and family. Some local hip hop artists attended and performed for the young people and there was a session in music production techniques. They have completed a session on object handling from the World Cultures gallery with Derby Museum curators and they have had their work publicly exhibited within their exhibition also at Derby Museums.
None of these young people have engaged in a history project before, or visited ‘heritage spaces’ like Derby Local Studies Library. They have developed a range of skills from research skills to film, photography, and interview skills. They have inspired and been inspired. “This project has given these young people opportunities they would have never had before…” Ruth Richardson: Youth Manager and Director of Derby Multi-Faith Centre.