"Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life."
- Mark Twain
Hip Hop Harry, the new live-action children's educational series from C to the B Productions, is finally here, and I had the fantastic privilege of attending its premiere party!
"I Love to Learn", one of the many wonderful Hip Hop Harry songs, flashed across the plasma television screens inside the premiere at Cinespace in Hollywood as children enjoyed complimentary Cherry Cokes and Shirley Temples and their parents mingled. Cameras flashed as Hip Hop Harry himself posed and danced with his admirers. And, a pint-size child reporter could be seen as one of the many people interviewing the stars and creators of the show.
Given that Hip Hop music is one of the most popular genres amongst many young people, Claude Brooks and his production company decided to create Hip Hop Harry as an alternative way to help kids learn. Hip Hop Harry is a hip bear that raps, break dances, and "beat boxes". This idea came to Brooks while spending time with his young nephews. He wanted to find "an educational tool that appealed to their interest in Hip Hop music." Hip Hop Harry's rap-a-long songs entertain children from 4 to10 and consist of educational themes like respect, good manners, friendship, imagination, and academics. "There's nothing else like it," Brooks says contently. He continues, "You think there would've been [something like it already]. Well...it's out there now."
Before revealing the first episode, which will air on Discovery Kids and TLC's "Ready, Set, Learn", the Hip Hop Harry Kids held a dance-off, entertaining both children and adults alike. Once the episode began, it was a packed house. People sat along the steps and even stood against the walls to get a good look at the big screen.
The episode opened with the Hip Hop Harry kids break dancing and singing the theme: "When I say 'Hip Hop' you say 'Harry'! Hip Hop! Harry! Hip Hop! Harry!" The audience excitedly participated and was ready for more. The show's first topic was about health. Hip Hop Harry stressed the importance of drinking water after dancing. He explained, "When you exercise, the water in your body comes out as sweat." The second lesson was about family and teamwork. Two sisters were competing against each other in a dance competition, and one of the sisters didn't want to win because she thought it might hurt her sibling's feelings. Hip Hop Harry assured her that it was okay to want to win, even if it is against a loved one, as long as you practice good sportsmanship. The competition began and the Hip Hop Harry kids danced amazingly, leaving the adults in the audience pleasantly surprised. At the end of the show, Hip Hop Harry recapped the lessons that were given. Then, the lights came up and the audience cheered. Later, clips from the following six episodes were also shown and received a great response.
Children, parents, and staff were all beaming with joy as they walked out of the screening room. Brooks' friend, Malcolm Jamal Warner (who played "Theo" on The Cosby Show), was delighted to come and lend his support. When asked why families should tune into Hip Hop Harry, Warner responded, "It's educational...(it shows) you can actually have fun while learning." Hip Hop Harry is definitely an energetic show that families of all types can enjoy while they learn valuable life lessons.
To experience Hip Hop Harry, tune in to Discovery Kids and TLC's Ready, Set, Learn. (Check your local listing for times) For more information on the show, visit the show's site.