SEATTLE — It's a course that gives northwest kids a higher education in hip hop.
"The name of the program is The Residency and what we try to do here is take 45 to 50 young folk who have or have been involved with hip hop and we bring them in and nurture them for 4 weeks. And we basically challenge them to create their own songs with a producer they never worked with, and then create these wonderful songs that they showcase," said Jace ECAj, one of the Teaching Artists for The Residency.
The program kicked off five years ago as a collaboration between Grammy winners Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, along with Arts Corps, and MoPop, as a way to give young artists from low-income families a chance to pursue their musical dreams.
For artists like Tacoma’s Mathew "King" Quest, The Residency is a lot more than just spitting rhymes.
"I just thought, oh it's going to be a hip-hop camp I can get better at rapping. It's way more than that," said Quest. "We learn staging. We learn articulation in our rap. A lot of stuff in the music business. And then also learned about identity and like finding ourselves."
Pushing the students are Teaching Artist who drop knowledge from the real-life lessons they've learned in the music business.
"We take them, where ever they are and meet them. We don't try to say you need to be here or you need to be there. Where are you? Where do you want to go? How do you see yourself,” said Jace. "We try to add our experiences through the art and hopefully that helps them."
The students even hear from the man who helped start the program.
"It's crazy we met with Macklemore the first couple of days,” said Quest. “We met Ciara, Doug Baldwin. Every time they come in and tell us the most genuine stuff."
For these young students, The Residency is a master class in finding your own voice.
Jace says, "At the end of it all we want them to figure out what is their purpose. What are they here for and what do they want to take from it."
The Residency covers all the costs for these young artists to participate in the program. If you would like more information or would like to help this no-profit with your dollars click here.