From January 3rd to 17th, 2015, hip hop artist-educators Toni Blackman (MC), Junious “House” Brickhouse (Dancer), Lauren “DJ Chela” Harkrader (DJ), and Elliot “Phillipdrummond” Gann (Beatmaker) traveled to Dakar, Senegal as part of the Next Level program. Through the Next Level Academy, the artist-educators held workshops that focused on hip hop performance, community empowerment through hip hop, and musical entrepreneurship. Members of Team Senegal also participated in an outreach program with the Village Pilote orphanage center.
Next Level’s Senegal residency concluded with a gala performance at the Sorano National Theater in Central Dakar for an audience of more than 300 people, including the Ambassador to Senegal, James Zumwalt, and legendary Senegalese musician and politician, Youssou N’Dou. Team Senegal is part of a larger Next Level cohort of American MCs, DJs, beatmakers, and hip hop dancers seeking to create global community through hip hop culture.