Young People Army – Engage young people through Hip-Hop culture

 “Definitely Hip-Hop is related with community work because it started in the community” Bigg Taj

We met Bigg Taj just a few days after he won the Top 3 position in UK Beat Box Championships in London.Originally from Glasgow, he started to work with music doing beatboxing and Rap 10 years ago.“It’s the way that I express myself”explained the Youth Worker / Hip-Hop artist about his connection with Hip-Hop culture.

(By Juliana Penha and Jasmeet Nat)


After around 5 years working with young people in Govanhill and building a relationship with them he established a group, formed mainly by Roma young people from Slovakia: The Young People Army“Basically is to teach them Rap.We record a song and make a video. It’s a way to make young people take control of their things”,he said. Despite the main part of the group is formed by Roma young people from Slovakia the project is open and everybody are welcome.

One of the goals of Bigg Taj is to set up a recording studio in Govanhill Baths where the Young People Army will record as they like. The idea is to put them in charge of their music.

He explained that despite this project is about music, a workshop where young people know how to Rap, it also brings to them another important knowledge “I am teaching them Rap and this is like an English class as well, because English is not their first language of the young people from Slovakia. I just take ideas from them, understand what they want to Rap about. Then I write it down and suggest some words. If they don’t know what it means I will tell them what it means and if we think that this is suitable for the Rap, then we use it. It’s anEnglish class because they started to learn some new words and put some sentences and rhymes together.”

Another important point in this project is the participation of young girls. He explained that this started after seeing in a music project that was occurring in the past, the girls arrived and were always in the corner. They wanted to participate, to record, but the boys were always in control of everything.  Then after receiving funding to set up a music project with girls and teaching them to Rap,the videos of Michaella Missel “Strong” and  LM “Telling them”are in the streets. These videos were recorded by Ammie Sekhon, a friend that works with Bigg Taj.

“I think that I worked hard to make this song. And I really like it because that is my first song that I ever made” Said LM

“I think its a great opportunity for young people to start something new and there is a lot of fun too.”explained Michaella Missel

The next step will be record a video with a group formed by LM, Michaella, Nikola and Bara, a project by Friends of Romano Lav.

Some of the ideas for the future is to bring all creative people that can contribute for the project delivering workshops in different elements of the Hip-Hop culture: DJ, MC, beat box, B.boying and also learn skills about how to create videos. “Anything else they want. I don’t want to just give them things that I think they would like. I want them to tell me what they want. What is the next step.”

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