#Sow Teaching Media Training at the Yo Yo School of Hip Hop

Billy Johnson Jr, teaching Media class at the YoYo School of Hip Hop.
Billy Johnson Jr, teaching Media class at the YoYo School of Hip Hop.

It finally happened. This week I taught a two-day media class at the Yo Yo School of Hip Hop. Founded by veteran Los Angeles-based female rapper Yolanda “Yo Yo” Whitaker in 2011, the program celebrates its fifth anniversary this summer, offering youth hands-on training in songwriting, dance, rapping, singing, and performing.

On Tuesday, I focused on how to write your own artist biography and interview skills. Thursday’s class honed in on more interview prep and one-on-one instruction with about a dozen students.

For bio writing, I explained how the media used the background information to conduct research on artists before interviewing them. I walked the group through writing a paragraph about their artistic endeavors.

When discussing how to prepare for an interview, I reviewed best and worst practices and bought some students to the front of the class for on-the-spot mock interviews.

On Thursday, I showed them good and bad examples of televised interviews with Solange Knowles, Pharrell, and Mariah Carey, and we followed with more one-on-one critiques.

The program that has been adopted into more than 30 other locations, has a good group of talented and eager students. They asked a lot of questions and many were quick to participate.

Had a blast. @yoyofearless #yysohh #hiphopmediatraining #hiphop #media

A video posted by Billy Johnson Jr. (@billyjohnsonjr) on

The three-week program runs through August 6 and will feature a performance at the commencement ceremony.

To enroll, visit the Yo Yo School of Hip Hop website.

About Billy J 44 Articles
Billy Johnson, Jr., a former senior editor for Yahoo Music for 17 years, has been covering hip-hop, R&B and pop music since 1991 and has interviewed the likes of Beyoncé, Janet Jackson, Quincy Jones, Kanye West, Eminem and Mary J. Blige. His work has additionally been featured in Vibe, Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, The Source, Upscale and more. Billy has appeared as a music expert on CNN.com, Tavis Smiley, E!, The Insider, BET, VH-1, ABC, FOX, AXS-TV, TV Guide, NPR, KNX, KFI, WCAP, WBZ, among others.

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