The Rhymecology Game is the first hip-hop self expression game. It is a card game created to act as a bridge between therapists, counselors, teachers and the hip-hop loving youth that they serve.
I recognized that one of the main disconnects between therapists and "at-risk" youth is the inability to find a common language in which to discuss deeply personal issues. More importantly, they need to find a safe way to discuss them. Through years of work in mental health as well as the music industry, I discovered that in the client's eyes, hip-hop was always an inviting topic to discuss and that it would often lead to deeper, therapeutic conversations. I figured out how to create "Rap Rapport" with kids who often don't allow much rapport to be developed at all.
So with an old wooden box, scissors, scotch tape and a hell of a lot of hip-hop knowledge, I was able the first game which I brought around to my sessions (in South Bay, LA and Long Beach) and started to see more and more children open up to me in ways that they had not before. Even kids who were not "in" hip-hop culture would ask me for the game. "Can we play the Rhymecology game Mr. Jeff??" I smile and say, "Well if you are going to twist my arm!!"
Seeing the need, seeing the results (from both research and field study), I knew I had to make this a tool available to others. There is no game on the market. No game that uses hip-hop as a self expression tool, no game that teaches youth to think critically about hip-hop, and no game that gives children pause to self-reflect while in full hip-hop mode.
Funded by LA South Bay, CA (February 2017)