In June 2015, four hip hop artists traveled to Kampala, Uganda as part of the Next Level program. While in Uganda, DJ Samuel “Rabbi Darkside” Sellers, Beatmaker Maya “Suzi Analogue” Shipman, MC Maddy “MADlines” Clifford, and Dancer Frank “B-boy Frankie” held workshops through the Next Level Academy, performed for audiences, and collaborated with local artists. The Next Level Academy took place at the Sharing Youth Centre, a community center and event hall in Kampala. Other local partners in Uganda included Breakdance Project Uganda and its affiliate, Break-Fast Jam, as well as the Babavuku Foundation.
Throughout the Academy workshops, artist-educators emphasized artistic excellence and creative self-expression in emceeing, DJing, beatmaking, and dance. Discussions regarding social activism, entrepreneurship, and pedagogy were also incorporated into the sessions. Throughout the residency, the artist-educators participated in several community events. The first, which took place at the Embassy’s Information Resource Center in Kampala, focused on hip hop history and included a live demonstration of each of the hip hop elements. MADlines also hosted a discussion on women, hip hop, and entrepreneurship.
The Next Level Academy’s final performance included performances by both artist-educators and student-collaborators, as well as a collaborative performance between Team Uganda and the Ndere Cultural Centre, a music and dance institution in Kampala that showcases traditional Ugandan culture. Team Uganda 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.