Music Class and Web Series Help First-Year Students Immerse Themselves in Worcester’s Hip-Hop Culture

The Boston Globe

First-year students at Holy Cross have immersed themselves in Worcester's hip-hop culture through Professor Megan Ross' hip-hop education class "Hip-Hop & the Community" and the "Hip-Hop With the Woo Crew" web series, The Boston Globe reports in a recent article.

Ross, who, together with fellow Class of 2011 alumnus Che Anderson and several others,  founded the Worcester chapter of Hip Hop Congress — a national nonprofit that works to bring social change through hip-hop education — says that these projects are all, in their own distinctive way, helping to promote a culture in which Black Lives Matter.

"Hip-hop artists and their contributions to the local culture have tended to be marginalized in narratives of the city," says Ross, assistant visiting professor of music. "Hip-hop is originally Black American music, so in the Congress and in all of my classes, I hope to promote and celebrate that heritage."

The class and web series not only gave students the opportunity to write, record and perform, but also to meet dozens of local hip-hop artists via a Community-Based Learning (CBL) component. The experience turned out to be life-changing for R.J. Johnson '24, a student-athlete from North Carolina, who was inspired to pursue his own art as a musician.

"It's important for people within Worcester to hear the stories of the hip-hop artists," says Johnson. "People can learn from it — I know I have. People in the Hip Hop Congress and in my class have been an inspiration for me. Any students, my age, younger or older, should learn from that. We all can."

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