Blackboard Labs offers creative writing classes and recording sessions to Philadelphia adolescents aged 13-19 who are currently enrolled in school. Our staff helps students draw inspiration from their own lives and experiences and uses elements of hip-hop culture as a teaching tool to help students find pro-social ways to express, articulate, and process these experiences. Our curriculum director provides students with examples from relevant modern and historically influential hip-hop artists to engage students in an analytical dialogue about the roots of the medium, where the music has evolved to and what they see as the future of hip-hop and their place within the culture. Weekly beat-making classes help students develop their own narratives and conceptualize and produce their own rhythms to be used in their studio recordings. Another important component of our programming is to connect this musical experience with multimedia art projects such as photography, encouraging students to view and engage with their surroundings in a new way.