Our Story

Four Four Beat Labs is a STEAM-inspired maker space and digital pedagogies incubator. Founded in 2012, we use culture, music, and new media technologies to teach, produce, and enhance the computational media, coding, and civic engagement capacities of diverse student communities. Our projects are standards-based. They are designed for use by secondary and post-secondary youth/youth influencers.

The mission is to expand traditional perspectives of “the classroom” space. That is, how it looks, where it happens, the archival resources used, and the limitless possibilities when technological innovation meets pedagogical sensibility.  The projects we incubate are guided by design principles that utilize the storied meanings of cultural artifacts to buildout interactive installations across analog, digital, and augmented platforms.

HipHop2020 Curriculum Project

Our flagship project is The HipHop2020 Curriculum Project (HipHop2020). Currently located in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at Georgia Tech, HipHop2020 began in 2008 at the Leadership Center at Morehouse College. Its goal then, as it is now, was to establish the hip hop archive and its various mediations as a design issue when implementing secondary and post-secondary humanities instruction.  HipHop2020 has since expanded its instructional models from a justice and civic engagement focus to include one that uses the culture’s design affordances in computational media instruction, including interactive narrative, digital archiving, and VR.

HipHop2020 Archive

The HipHop2020 Archive includes a database of educational content and resources, many of which highlight the hidden activisms and design affordances in Hip Hop-inspired artifacts. In 2013, the HipHop2020 Archive acquired the Michael Webster Vinyl Collection, a move that helped make the archive one of the first hosted at an institute of technology located in the American South. The curriculum projects, archival collections, podcasts, instructional manuals serve as a resource for teachers and educators, as well as music enthusiasts, digital humanists, and creatives interested in interactive engagement with culture, music, and technology.

LMC 3306, Exploring the Lyrics of Outkast to Engage Politics of Social Justice, was a class that allowed me to take an interest that I thought belonged solely outside of the classroom and bring to it the type of rigorous academic approach that true social scientists use everyday. Under HipHop2020's curriculum, we not only learned how to appreciate the artistic and musical creations of an entire generation - we also learned that the messages communicated within hip-hop are meant to be used as vehicles to better understand the world and to equip every student and listener with the true mindset of a 21st century innovator.

Ayodeji AladesanmiPublic Policy Major, Georgia Tech

"Hip-hop based instruction is important to me as a citizen of the historic city of Atlanta because of the way it frames our experience through the lens of this young yet pervasive art form. It is crucial now more than ever that we use the principles of HipHop2020 and its pedagogy in the classroom and beyond to afford each other respect, equity, and the space to grow as individuals."

Raianna BrownMechanical Engineering Student, Georgia Tech
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Four Four Beat Labs and Maker Space
School of Literature, Media, and Communication
686 Cherry Street
Skiles Bldg 316
Atlanta, GA 30332-0165

Phone: +404 894 6816