Words Beats & Life (WBL) is a Hip-Hop non-profit that has been serving the DC area for over 15 years. They are unapologetic advocates for the transformative power of hip-hop culture in all its forms, empowering artists to relentlessly create and refine systems that demonstrate positive change through our individual and collective brilliance. They embrace the sacred nature of their work and their roles as keepers and innovators of our culture. The launch of the Creative Core has allowed WBL to work toward becoming a city wide and eventually a regional Hip-Hop Apprentice Program. The Core supports the continued development of their students as working artists and entrepreneurs by connecting them to a larger creative economy and demonstrating the monetary value of their work. WBL current Creative Core roster comprises an extremely talented group of nationally performing and award-winning spoken word poets (including both of the 2017 DC and Prince George’s County Youth Poet Laureates), DJs, MCs, breakdancers, and visual artists who have participated in a variety of live painting events.
Tosin Aribisala is a renaissance force to be reckoned with. The music of composer, vocalist, and percussionist Tosin speaks highly of his African cultural background to the exploration of various genres like jazz, funk, rock, reggae and Afro-Cuban music. As a prolific writer, Tosin writes and sings in Yoruba, Pidgin English and English. Over the years, his musical influences have been folks like Tony Allen, Art Blakey, Bob Marley, Dennis Chambers, King Sunny Ade, Fela Kuti, John Coltrane, Majek Fashek, Keziah Jones, and Ebo Taylor. Possessing infectious groove sensibility, Tosin has performed, recorded and toured around the world with various groups and artists including Taj Mahal, Baba Maal, Fatoumata Diawara, Spyro Gyra, Julie Dexter, Femi Kuti, and many others. In 2017, Tosin received the Individual Artist Awards for best World Music Compositions from the Maryland State Arts Council. With keen interest and passion for teaching, Tosin continues to inspire both the young and older generations of drummers and music lovers through his teaching programs and workshops.