From March 30 to April 18, 2019, hip hop artists Candice “DJ Kuttin Kandi” Custodio-Tan, Macca “Bgirl Macca” Malik, Chane “Big Piph” Morrow, Chaz “Chazmere” Queen, and site manager JaciCaprice traveled to Australia as part of the Next Level program. The Next Level Academy’s local partner was Street University, a program that provides young people with community-based services, interactive spaces, and opportunities for artistic and educational engagement. While in Sydney, Bankstown, and Liverpool, Australia, the Next Level artists held outreach events at several local schools, as well as a conflict transformation discussion/workshop at Baxter Juvenile Justice Center.
Next Level’s Team Australia also participated in a series of panel discussions alongside local hip hop artists at the 4E Sydney Conference and Festival. During the festival, the artists performed “Closer,” a song that they wrote and recorded alongside local partners. On April 13, BGirl Macca entered Sydney’s Ryugi Competition’s Breaking Battle and took home first prize! The Next Level Academy’s performance was held in conjunction with the Australian Poetry Slam, one of the world’s largest performing writers’ programs. Next Level’s Team Australia is part of a larger Next Level cohort of American MCs, DJs, beatmakers, and hip hop dancers seeking to build global community through hip hop culture.