Hip-Hop 2 Prevent Substance Abuse and HIV

The Youth Popular Culture Institute, along with Strategic Community Services and Morgan State University, is participating in a new project entitled “Hip-Hop to Prevent Substance Abuse and HIV” (H2P), a Center for Substance Abuse Prevention funded project. The project will use a Hip-Hop culture framework to integrate substance abuse and HIV prevention/intervention, and YPCI is writing the school and community-based curriculum.

The H2P curriclum is based on three foundational theories - Social Learning, Cultural Competence and Hype-Fun-Learn, all of which stress motivational, youth culture-based strategies along with communication efficiency. The interventions to be integrated are a SAMHSA Model Program and a CDC HIV Prevention Effective Program: Project SUCCESS (Schools Using Coordinated Community Efforts to Strengthen Students) and BART (Becoming A Responsible Teen), respectively.

The project's goals are:
Goal 1: Reduce substance use and early sexual activity
Goal 2: Increase family interactions
Goal 3: Increase constructive recreational activity

The objectives are:
Objective 1.1: Build social and personal skills
Objective 1.2: Develop leadership skills to promote pro-health decisions and skill use
Objective 2.1: Provide parent training
Objective 2.2: Provide parent-child activities to support joint participation
Objective 3.1: Provide community service activities as a positive alternative activity

The target population is Prince George's County, Maryland's middle and high school youth attending Drew Freeman and Suitland. The project will enroll two (2) cohorts of 50 youth, serving 100 youth per year. The total youth to be enrolled over the life of the grant is 400. Enrollment of males and females will be equal.

Back to Top




Dr. P. Thandi Hicks Harper, president of the Youth Popular Culture Institute (YPCI), is currently writing a paper tentatively entitled Youth Development: The Impact of Hip-Hop Culture on Successful Outcomes. The paper is being funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and will explore the role that Hip-Hip can and has played in successful youth development programs. Highlights of program activities from organizations like The Valley, a non-profit youth services agency based in New York City, will be featured along with insights and recommendations from youth and adults who work with them. The paper will address this non-traditional, but necessary, perspective for those working within this up and coming field of youth development to consider. Barriers to successful youth work, ways to sustain youthful involvement in youth work, as well as recommendations to foundations and organizations will also be addressed.

Back to Top



SPECIAL HIP-HOP PROJECTS (Producers & Consultants)

  • Board of Advisors – Urban Think Tank Institute, New York, NY
  • Turning the Tables of Hip-Hop™: A New School Agenda on Health & Education 4 America’s Youth 2002 Summit - Youth Popular Culture Institute (YPCI) (Public/Private Partnership)
  • Rap Attack 1985 – 1st Hip-Hop Conference at Trump Plaza in Atlantic City ($1,000.00 Def Jam Records investment)
  • Rap 2 Prevent Drug Use – Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Federal Program (TANF)
  • Techno-Rhyme Challenge: Interactive Educational Rhyme Competition™ - AOL/Time Warner and YPCI
  • Hip-Hop 2 Prevent Drugs.Digitally (H2PD.D) – YPCI/bILLO Communications
  • Beautiful Black Pearls - DC Community Prevention Partnership
  • Peer Review of YPCI Hip-Hop Culture Report – Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP)
  • Hip-Hop Culture 101 – Bell Atlantic/YPCI
  • National Substance Abuse Prevention Youth Caucus - CSAP



  • Hicks Harper, P. T. (1993). Black Educators, Black Elementary School Students, and Black Rap Music Artists on Educational Entertainment Rap Music Video for Pedagogy: A Cultural and Critical Analysis. (Doctoral Dissertation, University of Maryland, 1993). Dissertation Abstracts International, 5405a. (University Microfilms International No. 9327427).
  • Hicks Harper, P. T. (1995a). Body Parts Rap for Kids: A Leader’s Guide for Parents, Teachers, and Friends of Children. Clinton, MD: Thandi’s Place Productions. (Available from Youth Popular Culture Institute, Inc., 8906 Fox Park Road, Clinton, MD 20735)
  • Hicks Harper, P. T. (1995b). Body Parts Rap for Kids: An Activity Book for Hip-Hop Youngsters. Clinton, MD: Thandi’s Place Productions. (Available from Youth Popular Culture Institute, Inc., 8906 Fox Park Road, Clinton, MD 20735)
  • Hicks Harper, P. T. (1995c). Get It Straight! The Facts About Drugs: A Drug Prevention Resource Book. U.S. Dept. of Justice, Drug Enforcement Agency.
  • Hicks Harper, P. T. (1995d). Hip-Hop for Nutrition: A Leader’s Guide. Clinton, MD: Thandi’s Place Productions.
  • Hicks Harper, P. T. (1999). Hip-Hop Trendsetters’ Report. Silver Spring, MD: McFarland & Associates, Inc.
  • Hicks Harper, P. T. (2000, June/July). Understanding Youth Popular Culture and the Hip-Hop influence. SIECUS Report, 28(5), pp. 19-23.
  • Hicks Harper, P. T. (2003a). Hip-Hop 2 Prevent Drugs. Digitally: Leader’s Guide. Clinton, MD: Youth Popular Culture Institute, Inc.
  • Hicks Harper, P. T. (2003b). Hip-Hop 2 Prevent Drugs. Digitally: Youth Guide. Clinton, MD: Youth Popular Culture Institute, Inc.
  • Hicks Harper, P. T. (2003c). Hip-Hop’s Influence within Youth Popular Culture: A Catalyst for Reaching America’s Youth with Substance Abuse Prevention Messages-Examining and evaluating how the publication may effectively be used within Annie E. Casey Foundation Making Connections and other community-based sites. Clinton, MD: Youth Popular Culture Institute, Inc.
  • Hicks Harper, P. T., and Harper, B. M. (1999a). Hip-Hop’s influence within youth popular culture: A Catalyst for Reaching America’s Youth with Substance Abuse Prevention Messages. Silver Spring, MD: McFarland & Associates, Inc. (Available from Youth Popular Culture Institute, Inc., 8906 Fox Park Road, Clinton, MD 20735)
  • Hicks Harper, P. T., Baxley, G. B., & Fisher, L. Y. (1999b). The Status of Black Adolescent Females in the District of Columbia. Washington D.C.: D.C. Community Prevention Partnership, Inc.
  • Hicks. P. (1987). The relationship Between an oral Rhythmic Style of Communication (rap music) and Learning in the Urban Preschool. (Report No. CS 210635). San Antonio, TX: Paper Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 283 200)
  • Hicks. P. (1990). Rap music: A Valid Reply to a Perennial Urban Exigency in Education. Unpublished Manuscript, University of Maryland, Department of Radio, Television, and Film, College Park, MD.
  • Peters, S. (2000, October). Physicians Need to be More Hip-Hop Savvy: It’s a Public Health Thing. Clinical Psychiatry News, p. 27. (Quotes from Dr. Hicks Harper’s work.)



  • Hicks, P. (1989a). Black/White Responses to Rap Music Educational Video. Unpublished Manuscript, University of Maryland, Department of Radio, Television, and Film, College Park, MD.
  • Hicks, P. (1989b). Information-Processing Theory as an Explanation for the Results of Rap Music for Learning Theory. Unpublished Manuscript, University of Maryland, Department of Radio, Television, and Film, College Park, MD.
  • Hicks, P. (1989c). Rap Music: A “satellite” cultural phenomenon: From expression to commodity. Unpublished Manuscript, University of Maryland, Department of Radio, Television, and Film, College Park, MD.
  • Hicks, P. (1991). Analyzing Hip-Hop for Education: A Social Learning Theory Perspective. Unpublished Manuscript, University of Maryland, Department of Radio, Television, and Film, College Park, MD.


Selected Workshop/Presentation Titles Include:

  • Hip-Hip Culture: A Catalyst 4 Change
  • Hip-Hop Culture Competence: A Requirement 4 Community Activists, Educators & Health Professionals
  • Youth & Popular Culture
  • Prevention via Youth Popular Culture: A Response to Consider 4 Reaching America’s Youth
  • The Relationship Between Youth Popular Culture & HIV/AIDS
  • The Relationship Between the African World View & Hip-Hop Culture
  • Understanding the Dominant Youth Popular Culture
  • Hip-Hop As An Approach to Combat Violence & Juvenile Delinquency
  • Understanding Youth Popular Culture & the Hip-Hop Influence: Implications for University Pedagogy
  • Hip-Hop, Health & Education: What’s One Got to Do With the Other?
  • Hip-Hop & Public Health Policy
  • The Formal Features of Hip-Hop Culture
  • Why Should We Care?
  • Rap Music: An African-American Tradition 4 Educating African-American Youth
  • Conversations: A Roundtable Symposium on Youth and Popular Culture
  • Rap Music As A Teaching Aid
  • Youth Popular Culture & the Hip-Hop Influence



  • Tavis Smiley Foundation
  • Memphis Affiliate of Congress of National Black Churches
  • U.S. Department of State, Office of International Visitors
  • National African-American Women’s Leadership Institute (NAAWLI) of Bennett College
  • Planned Parenthood of Northern New England
  • National Network for Youth
  • Association of HBCU Retention Programs
  • National Congress of Black Churches (NCBC)
  • National Association of Community Health Centers, Inc.
  • U.S. Surgeon General’s Conference on Healthy People 2000
  • National Center for Media Literacy (NCML)
  • United Negro College Fund (UNCF)
  • World Media Education Association
  • National Medical Association (NMA)
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
  • National Association for Journalism & Mass Communications
  • Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP)
  • Congressional Black Caucus (CBC)
  • Cities In Schools/Burger King Academy (CIS)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Head Start Association (HSA)
  • National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE)
  • Morgan State University (MSU)
  • Howard University (HU)
  • University of Maryland (UMD)
  • Trenton State College
  • Rutgers University
  • Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF)
  • Various Other Community Colleges and Universities
  • Various Federal Government Agencies


YPCI Multimedia products produced in which Hip-Hop culture formats and/or content were/are used as the backdrop for communicating messages to youth and/or adults:

  • Hypetime!™ 4 Hip-Hop & Health (Animation, Print & Masquerade Formats)
  • HIV/AIDS & Youth Popular Culture Video 4 Presentations
  • Hip-Hop & Substance Abuse Prevention Video 4 Presentations
  • Hip-Hop CD-ROM 4 Presentations
  • YPCI & AOL/Time Warner “Techno-Rhyme Challenge: Interactive Educational Rhyme Competition” Website ©2000
  • Hip-Hop 2 Prevent Drugs (H2PD.Digitally) CD-ROM & Leader’s/Student Activity Guides
  • Body Parts Rap 4 Kids Video & Leader’s/Student Activity Books
  • Famous African-American Women Video & Student Activity Book
  • Hip-Hop 4 Nutrition Video & Leader’s Guide
  • Beautiful Black Pearls Music Video



U.S. Office of the President

  • U.S. Assistant Surgeon General
  • Office of National Drug Control Policy

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

  • Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) (Division of Public Education/Media & Office of Clinical & Medical Affairs)
  • Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC)
  • Office of Minority Health (OMH)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC)

U.S. Department of Justice

  • Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)

U.S. Department of Transportation

  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

District of Columbia Government

  • D.C. Department of Human Services, Bureau of Training & Employment
  • D.C. Addiction, Prevention & Recovery Administration (APRA)
  • D.C. Department of Human Services, Commission of Public Health’s Office of AIDS Activities

Foundations and Non-Profit Organizations

  • Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • Academy for Educational Development
  • Boys and Girls Club of America
  • Marshall Heights Community Development Corporation
  • National Drug Prevention Partnerships

Back to Top




We are pleased to announce that the America Online Foundation awarded the Youth Popular Culture Institute (YPCI) an Interactive Education grant to produce the Techno-Rhyme Challenge Exhibition at Suitland High School in Prince George's County, MD. The Exhibition process provides an opportunity for Suitland High School students to use Hip-Hop Culture/Rap Music and interactive technology as the basis for increasing their knowledge in the areas of English/Literature, Math, Science and History. The Exhibition targets freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors who work in teams to produce educational entertainment rhymes. Completed and approved rhymes are put on a compact disk and students are provided with opportunities to perform their rhymes for their classmates.

Technology advances have created new and exciting opportunities for teaching and learning. Technology offers the promise of reinventing education by supporting interactive, inquiry-based learning.
This small pilot project will serve as a basis for larger similar projects that have the potential to enrich learning and ongoing collaborations, both within the school building and beyond the school walls. It also serves as the basis for enhancing relationships between students, teachers, and families.

Back to Top




Summit Background
To propel awareness into action, YPCI—along with the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Bureau of Primary Health Care, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Annie E. Casey Foundation, bILLO Communications, D.C. Department of Health’s Addiction, Prevention, and Recovery Administration, Campaign for Tobacco Free-Kids, Vanguarde Media, and other public and private partners— sponsored the first unprecedented and substantive national youth Summit held in the nation’s capital in October, 2002. The Summit triggered excitement, concern, dialogue, and critical action around the vital role that youth leaders and Hip-Hop culture can play in national efforts to encourage young people to choose healthy lifestyles and strive for academic excellence. The Summit provided participants with knowledge, strategies, and resources that will enable them to collaborate effectively in order to mobilize and empower America’s most disadvantaged youth, their families, and their communities.

The title of the Summit reflects the guiding philosophy behind the event. Turning the Tables refers to a creative style used by Hip-Hop deejays, who make inimitable scratching sounds by artistically and rhythmically moving a record back and forth on its turntable. Similarly, the Summit approached Hip-Hop, health, and education issues from more than one direction. New School Agenda implies that the Summit would go beyond traditional, "old school," linear discussions of health and education, which it did. Once exposed to the information, strategies, and resources that have been found to work, young people designed and developed their own platforms on these issues, using their popular culture and its positive elements as a foundation.

Summit Goals

  • Create a Hip-Hop-sensitive environment that will encourage open dialogue between youth and adult participants and will assist in improving the effectiveness of programs and initiatives that promote healthy lifestyles among youth.
  • Create an opportunity for practitioners, parents, educators, policymakers, and other adults to gain an understanding of the concerns and perspectives of young people regarding health, Hip-Hop culture, and related programs that target them.

Summit Chairpersons

Honorary Chair
Larry King
CNN Talk Show Host


Maxine Waters

Marilyn H. Gaston, MD
Author, Former U.S.

Assistant Surgeon General
Marilyn Crawford
W. Larry Lucas

Omni-Media Ltd. Research and Manufacturers of America

Summit Participants & Attendees

Alongside reputable attendees like Sister Souljah, Davey D., Litefoot, Tats Cru, April Silver, and Michaela Angela Davis (Honey Magazine), the Turning the Tables of Hip-Hop™ Summit was attended by 187 participants; 105 (56%) youth and 82 (44%) adults. The race/ethnicity of participants was 77% African Americans, 8% Latinos, 8 % Caucasians, 4% Native American, and 4 % other. Female (54%) representation at the Summit was slightly larger than males (46%). The majority (54%) of youth attending the Summit was between 15 and 18 years of age. The remaining participants (46%) were 19 years of age and older. The average attendance over the four-day Summit was 150. The largest number of participants attended the Summit on Saturday (175) followed by Friday (162), Sunday (136), and Thursday (126).

Back to Top

© 2004 The Youth Popular Culture Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.
Designed by: Genuine Marketing and Design, LLC