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Thank God For Mookie’s Garage: Full Circle Inspiration & HipHop Education

Updated: Feb 29

"Thank God, for Mookie's garage, it changed my life" - Master Splnta, formerly FatRat Da Czar

Back in 1993 I didn't know much, but I knew I loved HipHop. My mind was blown by the beats of the golden era, sampling old music and turning it into brand new sonic offerings. That year my Walkman either had Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, or Wu-Tang. My radio was locked on The BigDm 101FM to hear DJ Prince Ice play the latest songs in his mix show "Club 101". That same year a group of older kids in my neighborhood inspired me to begin creating my own music by demonstrating theirs. I lived next door to Mookie who was already the coolest teenager around because of his fashion, his car, and his fine girlfriend(s). As if he couldn't get cooler he had the nerve to be in a rap group also. Some people just have it all! I kid, but the day I heard music coming from Mookie's garage I had to make a pit stop on the way back from the mailbox. My life was forever changed! This was the first time I saw HipHop happening in person. Before this, I thought it was something that only happened on telivision. It was like being at a live taping of Yo! MTV Raps! It was a group of guys, 2 turntables and a microphone set up. I was enamorned! Low and behold, rapping as I was walking to the edge of the garage was the Godfather of SC HipHop, Master Splnta formerly know as FatRat Da Czar.

Photo Credit: Lakeycha Pinkney

On January 22nd the original inspiration came full circle and I was fortunate to be a part of "Beats To The Rhyme", a unique workshop that taught teamwork and collaboration through HipHop song creation. Master Splntr, Quelle The Prophet, and DJ Kingpin "The Villian of Vinyl, and myself presented to all of the 5th Graders in Richland County School District 1 at the Koger Center of The Arts in Columbia, SC! The students are around the same age I was when I first walked up to Mookie's garage and I was filled with a lot of emotions seeing kids that reminded me of myself. The original inspiration went from a handful of kids in Hopkins,SC to 2000 5th graders at the Koger Center for the Arts with so much energy and excitment.

Music education has changed so much since I was that age. Caughman Rd Elementary School taught us music through the lens of American Folk and Classical. The first time we took a field trip to the Koger Center it was to see the Columbia Philharmonic.

"Who ever thought that HipHop would take it this far?" - The Notorious B.I.G.

I know for a lot of these children it was their first time at the Koger Center and they got to see emcees, a dj with turntables and me, a producer/beatmaker on stage.

The 5th Graders didn't just watch us on stage! The entire crowd helped select elements of the beat. Several came on stage and freestyled their own lyrics while being recorded live on stage to be a part of a new song that will commemorate the experience! We had students from Bradley Elementary, Carver Lyon Elementary , Satchel Ford Elementary to name a few, but I have to give a special shout out to Big Caughman Rd Elementary, the school that I went to 1st - 5th Grade. I'm excited to see the growth of this program!

Here is a video recap of the event and to learn more about Love, Peace & Hip-Hop's educational programming, contact Janet Parenti at

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