MC Lyte Wants To Inspire Tech-Savvy Kids As A Celebrity Judge For Black Girls Code’s ‘Build A Beat’ Contest
The rapper and DJ wants girls to have the opportunity to learn how to use technology through the lens of music.
Rapper and DJ MC Lyte partnered up with Black Girls Code as a celebrity judge to encourage kids to make beats by learning to code.
The nationwide ”Build a Beat” challenge by the nonprofit organization and celebrity-judged by MC Lyte, Rock the Bells President James Cuthbert, and others, invites youth to explore technology through the lens of music, AfroTech reported.
Technology has been a constant force in MC Lyte’s career, she said to the outlet.
“Well, every bit of recording for my musical projects were done with the aid of technology,” the hip-hop icon said. “Most of my first album was done using a Tascam Drum machine. We definitely explored new technology with drum machines, programmers, and sequencers. We experimented with echo chambers, modules, and gates. It’s always been exciting to hit the studio and learn about what’s new to tinker with.”
Now she wants to make sure young Black girls have the opportunity to learn how to use technology that is relevant to the music scene, but can be applied in other ways.
“The kids of this generation are bubbling with lots of new ideas. This challenge will awaken the creativity of those who love coding and who are inspired to make music,” MC Lyte told AfroTech.
Black Girls Code CEO Cristina Jones — who is a fan of the rapper and DJ — said about selecting the DJ as a celebrity judge, “Again, what we really wanted to do was when you look across all of the judges is we’re very intentional with who we’re picking.”
Combining music and technology could be a game changer for young girls learning to code.
Jones told AfroTech, “Here at Black Girls Code, we want to meet the girls where they are.”
She added, “When you think about the numbers, we have only 3% of Black women in these tech roles. It’s clear that they’re not seeing themselves in this space. There is not enough representation for them in this space. So we decided that we’re going to start meeting them where they are, and we are going to start showing them that technology is fun and it can be a catalyst in helping them work in areas that they love like gaming, film, sports, and of course music.”
The contestants will code a song using Infosys Foundation USA’s Pathfinders Online Institute and the winner will get a video call from artist Ciara. Contest applications close on Dec. 31.