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Lunchroom Cypher Podcast

Lunchroom Cypher Podcast

By HipHopEd Podcast Network
Youth congregate in Lunchroom Cyphers because it’s a space within a school where students can be themselves. Reading this as a call to action from students, this podcast explores how school counselors collaborate with all other educators to create a school ecosystem that uses hip-hop based counseling practices to support students' social/emotional, academic, and career development.
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Episode 1: A Hip-Hop and School Counseling Program (Ft. Ja-Quan Greene)

Lunchroom Cypher Podcast

Practicing Self-Care (Ft. Shauna Brown AKA @TeachForTheCulture
On this episode of the Lunchroom Cypher, we build with the incredible Shauna Brown, Founder of @TeachForTheCulture. As we all continue to dive headfirst into the 2021-2022 school year, Shauna reminds us about the importance of self-care as a necessary first step in supporting youth development. Together we discuss various ways to practice self-care and break down a fire new verse from Lauyrn Hill off Nas' most recent project. Enjoy!
October 06, 2021
Episode 11: Hip-Hop Dance & Development (Ft. Aysha Upchurch)
In this episode, we learn about hip-hop dance, joy, and liberation from Aysha Upchurch. Aysha Upchurch is an artist, instructor, and education consultant committed to youth advocacy, social inclusion, artistry development, and transformative education. Through narratives about her work in dance and education (at Harvard!), we hear about the ways hip-hop dance can propel youth development. We also break down some Lauyrn Hill and share insights for educators!  
September 06, 2021
Episode 10: Hip-Hop Literacies and Pedagogy in the English Classroom (Ft. Dr. Lauren Kelly)
On this episode of the Lunchroom Cypher, we sit down with the incomparable Dr. Lauren Kelly who shares insights from years of experience in the English classroom integrating hip-hop based approaches. We also discuss some of the hip-hop based work she is currently leading as an assistant professor at Rutgers University. Together we break down bars from Teyana Taylor, and share practical insights for educators!   Follow Lauren and her brilliance @djdutchesss
August 16, 2021
Episode 9: The Emcee & Producer Duo: Building Student Rapport (Ft. J Rawls and John Robinson)
Legendary producer Dr. J Rawls and emcee John Robinson join us for a powerful discussion on leveraging hip-hop culture to build relationships with students. Drawing from their experiences working together as a producer and emcee duo (Rawls and Robinson) and writing their book (Youth Culture Power), we glean insights for educators to bring the best out of themselves and their students. We are also blessed with the chance to break down an original track off of their recent album. Follow J Rawls @Jrawls82 and John Robinson @JohnRobinsonMusic, and catch their collaborative efforts @ItsJayAreYCP Tap into their book and music at
July 12, 2021
Episode 8: On Joy & Happyvism (ft. Justis Lopez & Ryan Parker)
In this episode, we are joined by two brilliant educators, Justis Lopez and Ryan Parker to discuss how hip-hop can be a vehicle for choosing joy. We discuss the nuances of their work, around an album and book called "Happyvism", which includes listening to and breaking down bars from some of their music. Please check out and support Project Happyvism: Also follow these brilliant people: @social_justis & @peaceloveparker on IG
June 23, 2021
Episode 7: Hip-Hop Meets Chess and Jiu Jitsu (Ft. Adisa Banjoko)
Adisa "The Bishop" Banjoko is an author, podcast host, chess player, martial artist and founder of the Hip-Hop Chess Federation - amongst other amazing things. On this episode we discuss the melding of hip-hop, chess, and jiu jitsu to support youth development. Adisa's incredibly unique and powerful journey began after an unexpected interaction with his school counselor that led to a newfound friendship with the late great rapper Easy-E. We hear about his story in detail on this ep, followed by a breakdown of some dope lyrics - this time some hip-hop and chess bars from Apathy. Adisa is also the host of the Bishop Chronicles Podcast, which you can catch here: Also check his socials: IG: Twitter:
June 07, 2021
Episode 6: Narrative Work Through Hip-Hop & Coffee (ft. cxffeeblack)
On this episode we welcome on Bartholomew Jones of Cxffeeblack ( - an entrepreneurial venture with specific social implications, started by Bartholomew Jones and Renata Henderson to reclaim the black history of coffee and remain its black future. Together we discuss the history of coffee, and how hip-hop and coffee can be jointly leveraged to reclaim personal narratives. Cxffeeblack is also an emcee, so he shares some of his lyrics with us, and breakdowns practical steps for facilitating coffee cyphers. IG: cxffeeblack
May 17, 2021
Episode 5: Rap-Motional Wellness: Collaborations with Psychologists (Ft. Dr. Napoleon Wells)
During this episode we discuss how school counselors and school psychologists collaborate, using hip-hop, to support youth. Dr. Wells takes us on a journey through the history of hip-hop, and how hip-hop organically serves as a tool for healing and combating White supremacy. We also breakdown some Jay Electronica lyrics and offer practical next steps for educators and psychologists. Dr. Napoleon Wells: @Napoleonwellsthepsychologist 
May 03, 2021
Episode 4: “Who We Be”: DMX, Resilience, and Counseling on College Campuses
On this episode we are joined by Kim Davalos, Nate Nevado & Adam Freas who discuss their work counseling youth on college campuses through Hip-Hop. We open this conversation by honoring the late great DMX, who throughout his life and career modeled resilience and unapologetic authenticity. We then consider how those core tenants of Hip-Hop play an essential role in how we theorize and deliver Hip-Hop based interventions on college campuses. Rock The School Bells IG: @rocktheschoolbells Center for Innovative Practices through Hip Hop Education & Research (CIPHER) IG: @cipherskylinecollege Kim Davalos IG: @Kimdavalos Nate Nevado IG: @n8diggs Adam Freas IG: @freaslife Record Shop: @twelveswax
April 12, 2021
Episode 3: Hip-Hop Culture Across School Programing (Ft. Qiana Spellman)
This episode features one of the dopest school counselors in game, future Dr. Qiana Spellman. Qiana takes us through the various ways hip-hop has informed her work, from teaching elective classes to constructing school studios. As usual we close out with breaking down some bars from Big Sean and share tangible tools for educators to use.
March 31, 2021
Episode 2: Emotionally Freeing Classrooms (Ft. Dr. Chris Emdin)
In this episode we welcome Dr. Chris Emdin, Columbia Teachers College Professor, Author of the New York Times Best Seller “For While Folks Who Teach In The Hood: And The Rest of Y'all Too”, and the forthcoming text - “Ratchetdemic: Reimagining Academic Success”. Together we discuss how supporting student’s social and emotional development is the responsibility of all educators. We also breakdown a Loaded Lux Freestyle and share some practical next steps for educators. Pre-order Ratchetdemic here: Follow Chris on IG & Twitter @ChrisEmdin
March 31, 2021
Episode 1: A Hip-Hop and School Counseling Program (Ft. Ja-Quan Greene)
Welcome to The Lunchroom Cypher, a podcast discussing how hip-hop can support student development in schools. In this episode Dr. Ian P. Levy (Host) and Ja-Quan Greene (educator) discuss the co-creation of a hip-hop and school counseling program at a NYC high school, break down some bars, and offer practical steps for all educators. 
March 30, 2021