Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Something for the kids

House of Blues ponies up a big check for an after-school program.
House of Blues ponies up a big check for an after-school program.

“I like Christian rap. I love hip-hop,” says Quincy Brown, 14. “Tupac is my idol. I love Tupac. The way he sings about the women in his songs? Like, he’s not a gangbanger, he’s a thug.” Brown grins. “But, he’s a respectful thug.” A visitor reminds him that Tupac is also a dead thug. “That’s what people say.” Until a few days ago, Brown and his 16-year-old sister Brianna lived in Chula Vista. Now they live in Menifee, California. Their father drives them all the way back (about 75 miles) so they can continue at the San Diego Young Artists Music Academy in Southeast San Diego.

Place

San Diego Young Artists Music Academy

4125 Alpha Street, San Diego

Housed in a converted retail suite, Brown and his sister, along with about 80 other children, come to the after-school program twice a week. Brown says he has written a few hip-hop rhymes, but he is too shy to sing them. “The only person I perform with is Dre da Flame. He’s my favorite San Diego Christian rapper.” But Brown’s sister isn’t shy at all. She belts out a Dre lyric: “My church-boy swag is drippin’ like water.” She giggles. “Water, water, water.” Her hair is tinted the hue of a raspberry popsicle. “I wanna become a vocal coach,” she says, “and a choreographer.”

A few of those giant facsimile checks, the kind they give out at ceremonies, are displayed on the wall behind a stage. The most recent, dated October 7, 2014, for $5000, was awarded by the House of Blues Music Forward Foundation. Founder George Hill explains that such gifts are what fuels his organization. “It runs about $150 per month, per child. Most parents, because of the area we’re in, can’t pay that. Some pay $10 a week. Some pay $20 a month.” He says the House of Blues money will help make up the difference.

Hill, an affable man in his 70s, offers a tour of his academy. “Me and my wife Robbie were driving down Logan Avenue one day and we saw kids doing graffiti. She said, we’ve got to do something for these kids.” Shortly after, the Navy veteran leased space in an as-yet unfinished strip mall on Alpha Street. “We’ve been here since 1996. We got our nonprofit status in 1998.”

Open Tuesday through Saturday, students work out dance routines to gospel hip-hop (“Themes are based on life and church,” says Brianna), and they study instruments like the piano. The academy also features a community choir. Kids here do not learn blues or jazz or other forms of Americana. That sort of music, says Quincy Brown, is reserved for the ride back to Menifee. “My father listens to blues all the time. What I’m getting out of this place? Respect. I have love for everybody. It’s like a whole ’nother family here. I wouldn’t like everybody as much if I didn’t come here.”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

The Harrison G. Otis House: a Tudor Revival residence

Much of the craftsmanship and styling cues of the era remain
Next Article

The Harrison G. Otis House: a Tudor Revival residence

Much of the craftsmanship and styling cues of the era remain
House of Blues ponies up a big check for an after-school program.
House of Blues ponies up a big check for an after-school program.

“I like Christian rap. I love hip-hop,” says Quincy Brown, 14. “Tupac is my idol. I love Tupac. The way he sings about the women in his songs? Like, he’s not a gangbanger, he’s a thug.” Brown grins. “But, he’s a respectful thug.” A visitor reminds him that Tupac is also a dead thug. “That’s what people say.” Until a few days ago, Brown and his 16-year-old sister Brianna lived in Chula Vista. Now they live in Menifee, California. Their father drives them all the way back (about 75 miles) so they can continue at the San Diego Young Artists Music Academy in Southeast San Diego.

Place

San Diego Young Artists Music Academy

4125 Alpha Street, San Diego

Housed in a converted retail suite, Brown and his sister, along with about 80 other children, come to the after-school program twice a week. Brown says he has written a few hip-hop rhymes, but he is too shy to sing them. “The only person I perform with is Dre da Flame. He’s my favorite San Diego Christian rapper.” But Brown’s sister isn’t shy at all. She belts out a Dre lyric: “My church-boy swag is drippin’ like water.” She giggles. “Water, water, water.” Her hair is tinted the hue of a raspberry popsicle. “I wanna become a vocal coach,” she says, “and a choreographer.”

A few of those giant facsimile checks, the kind they give out at ceremonies, are displayed on the wall behind a stage. The most recent, dated October 7, 2014, for $5000, was awarded by the House of Blues Music Forward Foundation. Founder George Hill explains that such gifts are what fuels his organization. “It runs about $150 per month, per child. Most parents, because of the area we’re in, can’t pay that. Some pay $10 a week. Some pay $20 a month.” He says the House of Blues money will help make up the difference.

Hill, an affable man in his 70s, offers a tour of his academy. “Me and my wife Robbie were driving down Logan Avenue one day and we saw kids doing graffiti. She said, we’ve got to do something for these kids.” Shortly after, the Navy veteran leased space in an as-yet unfinished strip mall on Alpha Street. “We’ve been here since 1996. We got our nonprofit status in 1998.”

Open Tuesday through Saturday, students work out dance routines to gospel hip-hop (“Themes are based on life and church,” says Brianna), and they study instruments like the piano. The academy also features a community choir. Kids here do not learn blues or jazz or other forms of Americana. That sort of music, says Quincy Brown, is reserved for the ride back to Menifee. “My father listens to blues all the time. What I’m getting out of this place? Respect. I have love for everybody. It’s like a whole ’nother family here. I wouldn’t like everybody as much if I didn’t come here.”

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Jazz the Night Away, Reopening Celebration at the Aquarium

Events July 11-July 15, 2020
Next Article

Jazz the Night Away, Reopening Celebration at the Aquarium

Events July 11-July 15, 2020
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close