In Sacramento, we have many dedicated artists of all forms of media; people in music, video editing, and painters. They all have opportunities to showcase their masterpieces at the many art galleries and venue locations the city has to offer. With an increase in helpful services that conglomerates and people are providing, art is used as a tool and coping mechanism for today’s students with struggles that cant fully be expressed or understood. 

Education is a civil right and yet today, millions of students are burdened because of inadequate funding and lack of prioritization. Students are not receiving the mental health support they need and deserve. Some schools cannot provide enough counselors, nurses, or social workers to serve its students in need. 

According to the ACLU CAlifornia, more than half of the schools in the Sacramento Unified School District have less than 50% of its students enrolled in the arts. The accessibility to these kinds of outlets has drastically been reduced, and many outside programs are stepping in to fill in that role such as The Cypher Hip Hop Organization. 

The Cypher Hip Hop Organization provides lunch, afterschool, and community center programs. The program practices various art mediums that empower and build courage among youth to perform such expressions. 

Michael Brim, also known as Mike B, is the program leader of The Cypher Crew. He, along with the cohort of artists lead youth through their knowledge on subjects such as Breakdancing, Art, Music Production, and Djing. The emphasis of Hip Hop helps as it creates structure and can be used as a guide to help with communication, confidence, and team building skills that the youth can take with them to lead a successful life. 

Mike B had the chance to answer some questions about what he does and who he does it for. 

What inspired you to start the cypher program? 

“I think just my passion for sharing Hip Hop Culture, I consider myself a student of it, and I love engaging and sharing its history and I also love working with youth Im very passionate about them so it was just a perfect way to combine both passions’’ 

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How many others work within the Cypher Crew? 

“Our core group is about 9 people Romeo with Music Production, Char teaching scratching and mixing with the Dj portion, Jimmy, Munch, Cobi and Kaela are our Breakdancing instructors, Kenya, Fisko, touch on art, now we have Mang also rockin with us. You know we also have others like Paul Willis might come join in on a session, or Mr.Hooper, Benwar, Mr. Lewis as well, but as far as that core group yeah its 9.’’ 

Can you explain the Cypher Crew and who you serve?

“The Cypher Hip Hop crew is a collective of just dope artists in different areas of art, whether its making music like producing, Djing, Visual art, Dance, Writing, it’s a great collective of just awesome individuals that have an authentic and genuine passion for the work that we do, and sharing their talents with the kids. The work we do is just sharing Hip Hop culture, sharing opportunities for youth to be empowered by it, to be able to find their voices and express themselves with it and to create amazing memories while learning to craft in the different elements of Hip Hop and then we showcase to their peers and parents. Also the youth that we serve are Hip Hop, they are at its core Hip Hop. The raw energy, passion, and creativity they bring is just energizing, stimulating, and it motivates us to wanna continue working with them.” 

You can find out more about The Cypher Hip Hop Organization, locations, sites and events on instagram @thecypherhiphopworkshop or Facebook as well.