From October 28 to November 10, 2018, hip hop artists Ami Kim (Beatmaker), Kyle “JustSole” Clark (Dancer), Brandon “Nosey42” Marshall (Graffiti/Aerosol Artist), Christopher “Def-i” Mike-Bidtah (MC), and site manager Junious Brickhouse traveled to Abuja, Nigeria as part of the Next Level program. This residency consisted of hip hop workshops and jam sessions, as well as discussions on cultural sustainability, conflict transformation, and entrepreneurship. Next Level’s community partner in Abuja was Krump Dance Studies.
Throughout the residency, Next Level artist educators partnered with a number of nationally recognized Nigerian hip hop artists in order to create strong, sustainable networks and support systems for participants. Next Level Team Nigeria also collaborated with Blackbones Dance Theatre, Abuja’s premier Nigerian traditional music and dance ensemble, to create a series of hybrid performances. The final concert was hosted by the Abuja Literary Society, a local spoken word and poetry organization, and consisted of performances from Next Level’s Team Nigeria artist-educators and student-collaborators, Blackbones Dance Theatre, and members of the public. Next Level’s Team Nigeria is part of a larger Next Level cohort of American MCs, DJs, beat makers, and hip hop dancers seeking to build global community through hip hop culture.