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McNally Smith Launches Hip-Hop Clinics at Twin Cities Libraries

Over the next months, McNally Smith College of Music will be hosting a number of hip-hop clinics at libraries around the Twin Cities. Numerous McNally Smith Hip-Hop faculty members and local artists will lead clinics on various music industry topics from hip-hop history to production and business/marketing skills.

Below are a list of clinics being held at various Minneapolis and St. Paul Libraries.
NOTE: Registration is required for each workshop. Please register with the individuals listed under each workshop.

Hip-Hop Production Workshop

Friday, March 16, 1-4 p.m.

Riverview Public Library
1 George Street East
St. Paul, MN 55107

RSVP by emailing:
Facilitators: Zach Bagaason

Learn about hip-hop songwriting and production: storytelling, sampling and multi-track recording with one-half of local hip-hop duo Big Quarters.

Hip-Hop Business Workshops

March 10, 17, 24, 31 (Saturday afternoons), 3-4:30 p.m.

East Lake Library
2727 East Lake Street
Minneapolis, MN 55406

RSVP by emailing/calling: Katherine Debertin – 612.543.8430 or

Facilitator: Sean McPherson

Give us a month we’ll give you the skills you need to develop a strong marketing push. On Saturdays between March 10-31, you will work hands on with different industry professionals to bring your materials up to the professional level. These music business skills will help any aspiring artist with an mp3 the basic items needed to do business in the music world. If you do your homework and attend each week you will walk out with a: press quality photo, artist bio, updatable blog and the key elements of an inquiry based music business email.

  • Week 1 – Work with a local photographer to capture a hi-res press photo that communicates your vision as an artist. Before you come in listen to some of your recent tracks and think of a concept that you could capture quickly in a library setting. It’ll challenge your creativity. In addition, bring a couple options for clothes, what looks right in person doesn’t always photograph well.
  • Week 2 – In your second week you will set up a blog account that links to any existing social media you might have (Facebook, Twitter). You will post your photo and an mp3 if you have one. And from some assignments from the week before you will craft a brief bio that summarizes where you are coming from as an artist. These will be refined for week 3.
  • Week 3 – With some guidance from a music-marketing specialist you will craft a reasonable plan for using your new materials to spread your music out to more people.  In addition on this week you will put the finishing touches on your bio and list other elements you want to add to your package after you leave the class. Your assignment for week 4 will be to flesh out your web presence with some more posts, some more photos and hopefully some more music!
  • Week 4 – Your first steps into the music industry are often going to be related to live entertainment and local press. In our final class a visiting journalist and talent buyer will help read the materials presented and explain what is working and what isn’t about the packages. In addition to examining the packages our guests will outline what they are looking for in opening inquiries from local artists.

Hip-Hop Local Masters Workshop

April 5, 12, 19, 26 (Tuesday evenings), 6-7:30 p.m.

Northeast Library
2200 Central Avenue
Minneapolis, MN

RSVP by emailing/calling: Ernest Batson – 612.543.6781 or erbatson@hclib@org

Facilitator: Toki Wright

Learn the ins and outs of the industry and local history from legends like I Self Devine, Zach Combs, Travitron, and Truth Maze with Rhymesayers artist Toki Wright.

Hip-Hop Lyricist Legends Workshop

May 3, 10, 17, 24 (Thursday evenings), 6:00-7:30pm

Franklin Library
1314 East Franklin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55404

RSVP by emailing/calling: Angela Fiero – 612-543-6926 or

Facilitator: Toki Wright

Take part in deep reads of key hip-hop lyricists and explore their influences with Rhymesayers artist Toki Wright. We’ll focus on Rakim, Nas, Jay-Z and Eminem.