Yo Yo School of Hip Hop Summer finale
By Daaimah Abdul-Mujeeb & Steven Larkin
Raving and stunning are a few words to describe the spectacular show, featuring more than seventy students who participated in the 2nd Annual, 5 week Summer Intensive Session, of the “Yo Yo School of Hip Hop. The event was held on Sat. July 28, 2012, 4 to 6pm at the Exposition Park Hall, which housed inner city youth ages 3 to 18, on the stage in Los Angeles, CA. The students began the performance with theatrical pieces from the Broadway play Oliver, which was revised into a Hip Hop theater version, called “OLLIE”! The play is about a boy and his friends, who live at an orphanage, set in the early 19th century. The students masterfully incorporated acting, utilizing vocals, hip hop dance, and theater.
The young actors and dancers were wonderfully trained; having three acts within the show with various scenes, complete with vocal selections, spoken word and beat production.
In between the live performances, rappers came on stage with roaring rhythms & rhymes, while bringing out lyrics straight from the dome.
When the moments came for the spoken word, it was delivered with such heartfelt deep rooted strength that actually seemed to powerfully describe the journey of our African American heritage.
There were a number of selections magnificently performed by the young people. Even the 3 and 6-year-old babies performed well, while singing, Bob Marley’s song, “Three Little Birds”, and playing the harmonica. It is extremely important to water and nurture our natural gifts and talents early on.
The students were excited and nervous to finally get their time to shine in the lime light, and perform, showing off all they had learned from the enriching experience attending the school. The dancers were crisp and sharp for every piece. Vocals were on point, and the songs showed the versatility of their beautifully gifted voices. You had to be there to witness the fun in the air, spirit of the audience and pure joy in the kids’ eyes!
“Yolanda Yo Yo” Whitaker founded the School of Hip Hop, in May 2011, with a purpose of helping young people to grow, learn and enjoy the art of Hip-Hop. Yolanda, a native of California, the product of a hard-working family and is herself a devoted mother. The Original West Coast Diva , Yo Yo came on the scene in 1991, with her debut album “Make Way for the Motherlode” . She learned from experience and hard work, that having a strong moral background was pivotal in keeping her positive and fearless.
To give you some back-ground about the Yo Yo School of Hip Hop, professionals in the industry, many of which are personal friends of Yo Yo, volunteered their time to teach and train the students in the areas of Artist Development, Beat Production, Writing, Vocal Training, Hip Hop Dance, and Theater. One of the highlights of the five week summer session was a visit by Ms. Kelly Price, who was extremely excited to spend a few hours with the students, while sharing her background, experiences, and giving them a sultry performance.
Aunty Yo Yo, as she is affectionately called by her students, says The Yo Yo School of Hip Hop (Y.Y.S.H.H.) is filling a void and need that is missing in our society today.
Many of the arts have been taken out of the local inner city schools. She is bringing back the balance that our young people so very much want and need. “We are teaching, while building self worth”. Social interaction is very positive and fundamental, without all of the video games, and texting. At Y.Y.S.H.H. she says “put the cellular phones away”. It’s time to come together, and have fun, while studying about the arts and music industry”.
The Yo Yo School of Hip Hop would like to thank Paul J. Parker, Forest Martin, Eric Reeves, Elisha, Nikkema Taylor, Patricia Bell, Tiffany, Ms. Cynthia, Ms. Walker, Ms. Bella of the Caribbean Belizean Dance Collective, for the use of her facility, and a special gracious thanks to “Cali Swag” for an awesome performance culminating the Yo Yo School of Hip Hop’s Finale.
For more information contact www.yoyoschoolofhiphop.com or (424) 653.6329 Like us on facebookyoyoshoolofhiphop “Creating Stars”