Beat Making Lab

After months of difficult conversations and some tense and painful moments, this thoughtful and talented group of teens needed a creative release to channel their experiences.

Pierce Freelon and Stephen “Apple Juice Kid” Levitin brought their Beat Making Lab – an electronic music studio small enough to fit in a backpack – to the group. Beginning with a discussion about race in the media, the group explored how popular culture has influenced their own views on racial identity. Then they went to the streets of Brooklyn to interview strangers about their thoughts on race. The teens used those interviews, as well as their own poetry and stories as samples to create a song about racism.