Next Level represents all the elements of hip hop, and our artist-educators reflect a talented group of diverse individuals.
Hip hop’s most democratic and accessible musical instrument has always been the human body. You don’t need electricity or equipment - or even permission - to create beats and rhythms with your voice. Beatboxing literally embodies hip hop’s do-it-yourself creative spirit.
Hip hop has always been about transforming something old into something new. From the sound of an old soul record to the crack of a tight snare to the heart-jostling resonance of an 808 kick, hip hop beats serve as a foundation for rhymes and a form of expression in their own right. By supporting the work of musical innovators around the world, we connect our communities to each other through hip hop.
From breaking, popping and locking to newer styles like jitting and turfing, movement and sound have always been twin forces powering hip hop culture. Dance allows us to define the meaning of the spaces we inhabit, anywhere in the world. It is no accident that “cypher” is both a noun and a verb.
Taking the crowd on a collective journey using only two turntables and a mixer requires a subtle combination of technical skill and cultural sensitivity. Knowing records, knowing crowds, and knowing yourself are the foundations of deejaying…and of hip hop culture.
The visual flow of aerosol art embodies many of hip hop’s deepest expressive traditions. From tags to throw ups and pieces, graffiti is far more that writing on the wall…It is a sacred art form that has been passed down from teacher to student for almost a half century.
In hip hop, the human voice can make music, test new concepts and strategies, construct poetry, and build community all at the same time. Next Level strives to maintain the cypher as a space where people can come together to build a better future.