Help Naledge Fund Project For Chicago Youth

Andrew Barber


I’ve been talking with Naledge on and off for the past few months about The Brainiac Project, and today he finally released the details to the public. People always complain about rappers never “giving back,” but with Naledge, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Now Naledge is asking you to put your money where your mouth is and support his efforts to reach the youth.

Basically, Naledge is seeking to teach children about the music business — the right way. A&Ring, producing, rapping, recording, etc. I could go on and on, but I’ll let the press release below and the video above do the talking:

Chicago’s Options Laboratory School and local hip hop artist Naledge (Kidz in the Hall) have come together to announce the launch of the “Brainiac Project,” a 6-week music industry workshop aimed to teach the most promising youth about the inner workings of the Hip Hop music industry and the technology that drives it. The Project seeks to motivate youth to pursue a college education and explore technology careers.

Melding hip hop culture, poetry, business skills and recording arts technology together, Chicago’s Options Lab School seeks to empower youth by teaching them to manage their own student-run record label (JetLag Records). In collaboration with Naledge, the “Brainiac Project” will allow students a chance to create a charity album for digital release and in the process, receive mentorship from local industry tastemakers.

“We are working together because both parties are committed to uplifting youth, and bringing the hip hop community together; we must put an end to hate,” states Naledge. “Inner-city minorities are significantly underrepresented amongst the administrative and executive brass of the music industry; yet they make up most of the performer population. The ‘Brainiac Project’ doesn’t aim to steer children away from wanting to be musicians but hopes to provide the tools for these kids to approach their dreams with life skills that they can carry in and out of a recording studio.”

Local hip-hop blog site’s founder, Andrew Barber, has agreed to support the project as a media sponsor, “Naledge is not only one of the best emcees in the Windy City, but also an ambassador of Chicago Hip-Hop — he’s respected locally to globally. He’s a represents everything that’s right about the Chi scene. It made perfect sense to assist him in this project,” says Barber.

For the students selected for the Project, the journey includes:

• Direct interaction, collaboration and instruction from DJs, radio personalities, artists, video directors, producers, business managers, accountants, marketing/A&R reps, engineers, IT professionals, and lawyers.

• A chance to record an album with Naledge of Kidz in the Hall, serving as the executive producer. Proceeds from the project will go into the growth and maintenance of the program.

This Project is a small part of the year-round music industry curriculum offered by Options Laboratory School Program. This experience of running a record label provides an alternative to the average extra-curricular activities most high schools offer. For many of them, this is the first step toward believing they can achieve a college education, a legitimate music industry job and a bright future.

For more information about the “Brainiac Project,” contact Naledge’s Twitter account: @GoNaledgego


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