Music mentorship program to partner with BPL for teen competition

Local rapper Red Shaydez serves as artistic development director for The Hip Hop Transformation, an organization that mentors youth interested in the music industry.

The Hip Hop Transformation (THHT), a youth organization co-led by local rap artist Red Shaydez, will partner with the Lower Mills Branch of the Boston Public Library over the next month for the Teen Music Maker Showdown, a musical event series and statewide competition for teens. Starting on Friday, Feb. 5, and continuing through Feb. 25, Massachusetts residents ages 13-18 are encouraged to submit self-produced music tracks to be evaluated by a panel of judges from The Hip-Hop Transformation (THHT), ICA Teens, the Clubhouse Network, the BPL, and more. Three eligible winners will receive a commission opportunity to produce new music for the library, along with Visa gift cards.

The BPL and THHT will host three events around the contest featuring industry experts: a kickoff event this Friday on the BPL Twitch channel that will include a Q&A with professional artists for teens interested in participating; a music maker workshop on Feb. 17 in which producer Lightfoot and rap veterans Red Shaydez and Flash (N.B.S.) will advise teens on their projects via Zoom; and an award celebration on March 5 featuring a panel of industry judges who will share submission clips and announce the contest winners. Through the Music Maker Showdown, the BPL aims to support teens interested in showcasing their work, gaining professional experience, and connecting with leaders in the Boston music industry.

“The BPL is thrilled to partner with The Hip Hop Transformation to bring teens the opportunity to create and share their art, as well as advance their careers and make connections in a competitive but exciting industry,” said BPL President David Leonard.

“Youth engagement and career skills are both key pillars of the library’s 2021 Repairing America initiative, and we look forward to supporting our state’s next generation of music Artists.”

“The Hip Hop Transformation program is honored to team up with BPL Teens for the first ever statewide music-maker showdown! This event provides a platform for teens all over Massachusetts to have their music creations heard,” said THHT’s Artist Development Director, Red Shaydez. “Not only will this be an opportunity for three upcoming creators to have their music placed, but it will also be a great networking opportunity that could spawn future collaborations. We at THHT hope that this showdown will be the first of many.”

Teens interested in participating can email up to three original music submissions to starting at 4p.m. on Feb. 5 through midnight on Feb. 25. Contestants must be between the ages of 13-18 and reside in Massachusetts. Winners will be awarded Visa gift cards of up to $150 and eligible contest winners will be awarded a $100 commission opportunity to create music for the BPL's Twitch and Teen YouTube channels. For full submission guidelines please visit