Rolling out spoke with Enoch Muhammad, founder of Hip-Hop DetoxX, about what he hopes to accomplish with the nonproft that started out as an idea to help young people make good decisions and develop healthy behaviors.
What is Hip-Hop DetoxX?
Hip-Hop DetoxX is an idea which has evolved, and has now become a public health nonprofit, a multifaceted holistic program, and an interactive approach to helping youth and young adults pivot their mindsets, habits and overall behaviors so they can benefit from opportunities that are presented to them as well as those that are yet to come.
How many years has the organization been in existence?
We are celebrating our 10th year anniversary as Hip-Hop DetoxX, however we have been doing programs with youth since our 2002 Operation Cultivation Summer Program.
What helped you come up with the idea to start this?
Having experience in working with youth and young adults since I was a teenager and while doing empowerment work, I also had a lot of experience within the Chicago music scene through various artists and producers.
Hip-Hop DetoxX allowed me to combine all of my artistic and grassroots activist interests into one.
HHD co-founder, Kesha Wells, had experience with peer ministry as a teenager and with 14 years of experience as a CPS special education teacher and behavioral specialists, [so] this became a perfect match.
What are some of the accomplishments of Hip-Hop DetoxX?
We have serviced over 300,000 youth and young adults between the ages of 12 and 24 in Chicago and throughout the country.
We have produced DetoxX music that’s good to the ear as well as to the mind which we have put on CDS and other mediums.
We have partnered with numerous entities, such as St. Sabina, where we led the effort to build a music studio and implemented yearlong programs, with the help of platinum producers Muhammad2G from Houston and input from Wildstyle from Crucial Conflict, along with other artists, producers, musicians and deejays.
After the Derrion Albert murder and video went viral, we did a three-part operation connect based on the disconnected intergenerational dialogue series which led to our bringing Freeway Rick Ross to Chicago. We also did a tour with him, and went to New Orleans and Baton Rouge to do violence and conflict resolution prevention activities. We were featured at Steve Harvey’s Ranch four times for his mentoring camp in Texas and we partnered with him at least two times in Chicago.
We have serviced over 300,000 youth and young adults between the ages of 12 & 24 and we have produced DetoxX music that’s good to the ear as well as to the mind which we have put on CDs and other mediums.
Do you think hip-hop is dead today?
We define hip hop as being truth without boundaries so “hip-hop” will never be dead. However, there is a program in full effect to increase hate, apathy, lust and fear in the young and elderly through music and pop culture.
The terroristic and toxic programming by major corporations is increasing a culture of death that must be met with a Culture of Healing which produces life.
The consistent dumbing down of the people in the U.S. and around the world has effected not only “corporate-sponsored hip-hop,” it has affected the very cultural fabric of many around our country who face psycho-socio-economic conditions that help to keep death on constant rotation in their private, personal and public lives.
Who are some of the hip-hop heads who’ve helped or been a part of your program?
There is a long list of those who have participated in or who have helped. Starting with Chicago legend DA Smart, Phenom, Brotha Jitu, No ID, Prince Akeem & The Mighty Task Force, Soldierz At War, Producers Tizone of Basstone Ent., Wildstyle of Crucial Conflict, Newsense of Psycho Drama, Gat Turner, Kam, Pharoah Monch, Wise Intelligent of Poor Righteous Teachers, DJ K Max of WHPK, DJ Bsyde, DJ Arkitek, Stic & Move Dance Crew, Kenny “The Human Music Orchestra Muhammad,” Wyclef Jean, Rakim Allah, KRS 1 and many, many more!