BPL and teen hip-hop show collaborate on Music Maker Showdown

Red Shaydez has simple, specific advice for aspiring singers, songwriters, producers, and hip-hop artists: Start local.

Shaydez offers this advice both as a star of the Boston scene and as the artistic development director of Hip Hop Transformation (THHT), a teen music program run by the Cambridge Community Center.

“There is a lot of support from local institutions and organizations, especially for teenagers,” Shaydez said. “If I had known when I was younger that there were programs like THHT or (like-minded young nonprofits) Zumix and Beat the Odds, I would have jumped at the chance. Not only do they help you learn new skills, but they create community and can expand your network.

JULY 24, 2020 – Rising Boston hip-hop star Red Shaydez. Photo Jenny Desrosiers, courtesy artist

Today, through a new partnership with the Boston Public Library, THHT launched the Teen Music-Maker Showdown. Already underway, the match created the statewide competition to showcase the talent of teens. Those who participate in the Showdown have the chance to win Visa gift cards worth up to $ 150 and place their music in the BPL archives for future use – full submission guidelines at bit.ly/TeenMusicMaker.

From the Museum of Fine Arts to the Boston Symphony Orchestra, long-standing cultural institutions that have spent years actively ignoring hip-hop have begun to support the scene through live broadcasts, exhibits and performances. artistic partnerships. When a librarian from the city’s Lower Mills branch contacted Shaydez with the intention of collaborating, she saw an opportunity to connect budding artists with another cultural force in the city.

“Even five years ago, it wasn’t something that was happening,” she said. “If we are to continue to grow as a city and a community, these are some of the collaborations that need to take place. We intertwine non-profit organizations with institutions. Which is great because now they can bring their network, we can bring our network and make more noise. “

To help guide younger and less experienced teens, Red Shaydez, fellow rap titan Flash (from NBS) and producer Lightfoot will host the Music Maker Workshop on Wednesday. The event will give attendees a chance to get advice and encouragement on their submissions from the pros through Zoom. The competition will conclude with an awards ceremony on March 5, when a panel of industry judges will share submission clips and reveal the winners via the BPL Twitch channel.

Despite his ongoing work with THHT, Shaydez promises not to tip the scales.

“I don’t want to be biased, but I hope THHT has one of the three winners,” she said with a laugh. “Being one of the partners, we put a lot of hype behind (the artists of THHT). We know we have a lot of diversity and versatility.

Shaydez has high hopes for her young charges, but what she really wants is for budding artists to know that our city is brimming with resources that push them to become Boston’s next big event.


Listen to the music of Red Shaydez on chillinintheshade.com; read more about the transformation of hip hop at thhtfam.org.

Alice P. Darby