Dr. Bettina Love

Bettina Love

Dr. Bettina Love

Dr. Bettina L. Love is an award winning author and Associate Professor of Educational Theory & Practice at the University of Georgia. Her research focuses on the ways in which urban youth negotiate Hip Hop music and culture to form social, cultural, and political identities to create new and sustaining ways of thinking about urban education and social justice. Her research is focused on transforming urban classrooms through the use of non-traditional educational curricula and classroom structures. Dr. Love is one of the field’s most esteemed educational researchers in the area of Hip Hop education for elementary aged students. She is the founder of Real Talk: Hip Hop Education for Social Justice, an after school initiative aimed at teaching elementary students the history and elements of Hip Hop for social justice aligned with core subjects through project-based learning. Dr. Love also has a passion for studying the school experiences of queer youth, along with race and inequality in education.

Dr. Love is a sought-after public speaker on a range of topics including: Hip Hop education, Black girlhood, queer youth, Hip Hop feminism, art-based education to foster youth civic engagement, and issues of diversity. In 2014, she was invited to the White House Research Conference on Girls to discuss her work focused on the lives of Black girls. She is the inaugural recipient of the Michael F. Adams award (2014) from the University of Georgia. She has provided commentary for various news outlets including NPR, The Guardian, and theAtlanta Journal Constitution.

Dr. Love is one of the founding board members of The Kindezi School, an innovative school focused on small classrooms and art-based education. She conducts workshops/professional development seminars for educators and students for educational entities of all kinds.

She is the author of Hip Hop’s Li’l Sistas Speak: Negotiating Hip Hop Identities and Politics in the New South. Her work has appeared in numerous books and journals, including the English Journal, Urban Education, The Urban Review, and Journal of LGBT Youth. She is currently editing a special issue of the Journal of Lesbian Studies focused on the identities, gender performances, and pedagogical practices of Black and Brown lesbian educators.

Rhymes: The Fugees “Ready or Not,” OutKast “In Due Time,” and Kendrick Lamar “Black Boy Fly”



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Toni Blackman

Toni Blackman

Toni Blackman

Toni Blackman is the first Hip Hop artist selected to work as a Cultural Ambassador with the US Department of State.She is an Echoing Green Fellow, an alum of Soros Foundation’s OSI fellowship, creator of Freestyle Union Cipher Workshop and Rhyme Like A Girl. Toni is both highly respected as an artist and social entrepreneur having performed at a host of festivals and legendary venues including the Roxy in L.A. and with her band at Apollo in NYC.  This influence led to Toni being honored by DOVE soap’s 2012 Real Woman campaign.  Toni has performed, led workshops and spoken in 34 different countries including ASPEN Institute’s World Summit on Creativity in Oman, the Pio Manzu Conference in Italy, the World Social Forum in Barcelona, a featured speaker at Chicago Ideas Week, TEDx UMass at Amherst and most recently at Brooklyn Museum’s First Saturdays. She has shared stages with the likes of Erykah Badu, Mos Def, KRS One, Vernon Reid, Meshell, Sarah McLachlan, Sheryl Crow, Gokh Bi System and Youssou Ndour. Toni’s next book, “Wisdom of the Cipher” will be released Spring 2014 along with music from her Hip Hop Meditation project, and a memoir of her work in Hip Hop diplomacy, “Travels of a Lyrical Ambassador”, later in 2014. “Inner-Course”, her first book was released in 2003 (Villard/Random House). Toni earned her B.A. and M.A. at Howard University. She was recently featured in Forbes Magazine and on the Tom Joyner Morning Show.  Toni leads workshops, lectures, consults and performs.

Rhymes: Eric B. & Rakim “Eric B. is President,” Goodie Mob “Cell Therapy,” The Fugees “Ready or Not”


[audio https://archive.org/download/RhymesReasons-ToniBlackman/RR-ToniBlackman.mp3]

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More Info on Toni:



Toni Blackman on Soundcloud

Article on Toni in Forbes

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Rapsody is a North Carolina emcee signed with super producer 9th Wonder for Jamla Records.  With the release of four projects in just a year and a half and a critically acclaimed debut album in August of 2012, she is slowly establishing herself as a major player in today’s rap game.  The Idea of Beautiful was her debut album and XXL quoted that “it might just be on of the best Hip-Hop debuts of late”.

Rhymes: MC Lyte “Poor Georgie”, Method Man ft. Mary J. Blige “All I Need (Remix)”, and the Fugees “Ready or Not”


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[audio https://archive.org/download/RhymesReasons-Rapsody/RhymesReasons-Rapsody.mp3]

More Info on Rapsody:

Rapsody Online

Jamla Records


Songs from this Interview:

MC Lyte “Poor Georgie”

MC Lyte ft. Missy Elliot “Cold Rock A Party (Bad Boy Remix)”

Luther Vandross “Any Love”

Tina Turner “Private Dancer”

Eminem ft. Royce Da 5’9″ “Bad Meets Evil”

Bubba Sparxxx “Deliverance”

Method Man ft. Mary J. Blige “All I Need (Remix)”

Little Brother “The Listening”

Little Brother “Lovin’ It”

The Fugees “Ready or Not”

The Fugees “Fu- Gee- La”

Lauryn Hill “Tell Him”

Rapsody feat. Childish Gambino and GQ “Beautiful Music”

Jay-Z “A Million and One Questions”

MC Lyte “I Cram to Understand U (Sam)”

Nas ft. Anthony Hamilton “World’s An Addiction”

Leida “Lady Sol” Villegas

Leida “Lady Sol” Villegas

Leida “Lady Sol” Villegas-Garcia is a street dance professional from Chicago who is recognized globally as a dance manager, choreographer, and youth arts educator.  Lady Sol’s credits include work on MTV, BET, UPN, NBC, TBS and WGN, alongside  super-stars Busta Rhymes, Wyclef Jean,  Cedric the Entertainer, Ellen, & Heavy D.  Lady Sol’s career highlights include the Management & Creative Direction of Chicago’s now internationally recognized, FootworKINGz.  Lady Sol is also co-founding member of Kuumba Lynx, a Chicago based non-profit arts organization that empowers young people through the cultivation of Hip-Hop arts. She actively develops and teaches dance programs in Chicago for Kuumba Lynx, Urban Gateways and After School Matters.  “Young people motivate me and I would like the end result of all my efforts to focus on empowering urban youth,” says the passionate Latina.

Rhymes: LL Cool J “I Need Love,” Heavy D & The Boyz “Now That We Found Love,” and the Fugees “Killing Me Softly”


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More Info on Lady Sol:

The FootworKINGz Website

Lady Sol’s Profile on Urban Gateways

Kuumba Lynx

Songs from this Interview:

LL Cool J “I Need Love”

Public Enemy “Fight The Power”

Lalah Hathaway “Baby Don’t Cry”

Cajmere “Horny”

Janet Jackson “Rhythm Nation”

Heavy D & The Boyz “Now That We Found Love”

De La Soul “Me, Myself, and I”

Patra “Pull Up To My Bumper”

Zhigge “Toss It Up”

The Fugees “Vocab”

Wyclef Jean “Killer MC”

Poor Righteous Teachers ft the Fugees “Allies”

The Fugees “Killing Me Softly”

R. Kelly “Summer Bunnies (BIGR Remix)”

LL Cool J “Goin’ Back to Cali”

Chris Brown “Deuces”

Wyclef Jean “Guantanamera”

Flipmode Squad “Everybody on the Line Outside”

Flipmode Squad “Cha Cha Cha”

The Notorious B.I.G. “Goin’ Back to Cali”

Dude N Dem “Watch My Feet”

Kanye West “The New Workout Plan”

Cajmere “Percolator”

DJ Slugo “Chicago Juke”

DJ Rashad “Juke Dat”

Madonna “Celebration”

BBU “Chi Don’t Dance”