Our Story

Four Four Beat Labs is a digital pedagogies incubator founded in 2012. Our commitment is to expanding traditional perspectives of “the classroom” space. That is, how it looks, where it happens, the archival resources used, and what happens in it 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 learning spaces and installations across analog, digital, and augmented platforms.

One of our principal projects is The HipHop2020 Curriculum Project (HipHop2020). As a case study, it highlights the use of stories and artifacts created through the production of Hip Hop music and culture. HipHop2020 began in 2008 at The Leadership Center at Morehouse College. It the Hip Hop archive as a design issue in secondary and post-secondary humanities instruction. The project’s mission is to design, produce, and curate as much educational content as possible – stories, classes, workshops, lectures, conferences, summer programs, social media and digital marketing campaigns – that highlight the often hidden activism in Hip Hop-inspired artifacts with the focus remaining on leveraging various digital mediations to enhance the social justice and civic leadership capacities of secondary and post-secondary youth and youth influencers.

Our projects and archival collections are designed to also 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. Through the acquisition of the Michael Webster Collection in 2013 we have expanded our territory into curating pedagogical concepts and archiving the diversity of our curriculum, our collections, and our expansions into virtual and immersive platforms. 

“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