HipHopEX (HHEX) is a classroom-lab that creates intergenerational programming that invites students, educators, artists, scholars, and enthusiasts to EXperience, EXplore, and EXperiment with the power and genius of Hip Hop in diverse educational settings. HipHopEX upholds two core Hip Hop practices -- cyphering and sessioning -- as valuable, rigorous, and necessary competencies for anyone venturing into the educational field, especially those seeking to embrace Hip Hop in their practice. Therefore, HHEX is not a lab in the sense of a physical space, but in the spirit of Hip Hop cyphers being a lab -- a place for multidirectional learning, experimenting, feedback, and growth. Moreover, the lab is a place for sessioning -- inviting folks with varying levels of experience and curiosity to bring their questions and ideas and drill them with the support of others gathering with them. Its initial launch question was: What happens when youth and adults come together in a learning community based on Hip Hop culture? After partnering with two local Cambridge high schools, engaging artists and practitioners from across the country, and hosting seven annual conferences, HipHopEX is excited to launch its research initiative at Project Zero to analyze and archive the documentation and data from its seven-year history.

The questions currently guiding our work are:

  • What frameworks describe or codify the approach and impact of HHEX's programming?
  • How can those frameworks be tweaked?
  • How are the intergenerational learning aspects of HHEX experienced by different kinds of participants?
  • How and why does Hip Hop-based intergenerational learning advance the pedagogic and community-building goals of HHEX?
  • More broadly, how does HHEX help us reimagine research and practice within the academy?