Culture Train secured funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund Young Roots programme to run this project. Their first Reppin Endz Derby project used hip hop to look at the history of Derby parks, this project looked at the history of hip hop and was based on an original idea by Will Sayer/JD.
I think one of the key achievements for this project was the amount of ‘new things’ the young people did. Yes we had specific targets we wanted to meet in terms of uncovering hip hop history in Derby and telling some of those hidden histories, and it’s been brilliant to have started creating access to that history and we are all very proud of that. But young people are at the heart of the Young Roots funding programme from the Heritage Lottery Fund – it’s about their journey and development and young people on this project have done so much, they’ve had a go at all the hip hop elements – graffiti, dance, mc’ing, music production, dj’ing, they’ve interviewed people, learnt about film production, completed research, created a film, visited Derby Local Studies Library, completed a session at Derby Museum, and facilitated their own sessions taking on roles of practitioners and leaders. So the engagement with heritage, history, and the level of skill development has been amazing.
They’ve worked hard, and had fun (which is what it’s all about), and I think they’ve created something quite special. When they walked into the exhibition at the end of the project and saw all their work pulled together on huge exhibition boards that for me was an awesome moment (the highlight for me). And also looking back on this website, at some of the history which has been uncovered, which tells stories of hip hop culture in Derby. This is history which was hidden and it’s now out there – people can see it, hear it, read about it.
So yes it’s a big thanks to the young people and all the team who have worked so hard to support them – Will (JD) who came up with the original concept, Ruth at Derby Multi-Faith Centre, Karnage, Todd, James from Front Row Films and everyone who was interviewed and donated time and material to the project. This project doesn’t tell the whole history of Derby hip hop (there’s a rich history out there with many stories) but it’s a start and it’s been created by young people, and I think that is really something.