January 11th, 2012
11:36 PM ET

Hip-hop that helps kids stay out of trouble

By Gabe Ramirez, CNN

Los Angeles (CNN) - For a few hours a week in a community center in downtown's Rampart area, high school kids are learning to make music without any of the instruments in the typical school orchestra. Instead, they generate beats on computers and tunes they can use live shows at the center, or maybe on an album.

This is Sessions LA, an after-school activity guided by Patrick Huang, a 30-year-old Chinese-American man also known as DJ Phatrick.

He was raised in an upscale Houston suburb with nurturing parents and access to a great education, but when Huang got to the University of California at Berkeley, a career in business or science didn’t appeal to him. He'd always loved music; the most important things in his bedroom at home were his turntables. At Berkeley, he immersed himself in ethnic studies and applied his DJ skills to campus activism and made music as a tool for justice.

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Filed under: Extracurricular • In America • Music • Practice
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