Growing up in Bournemouth foster care, soulful hip-hop artist Ric Flo lists rap workshop facilitator to his list of skills. He uses the art of rap and experience in foster care to empower young people and encourage positivity.
It was amazing to see my work enabling them
The idea behind the workshops began after performing Hide N Seek at the Looked After Children’s award in 2014. The song taken from his album ‘A boy called Ric’, highlighted his foster care experience.
Ric Flo, 33, said: “They got some of the kids to choreograph a dance to the song. It was amazing to see my work enabling them to be passionate and creative. They asked me back the following year to help the kids write about their experiences.”
Do You was his response to his first workshop. “I always wondered, if hip-hop is really the voice of the voiceless, why have I never heard a perspective of a young person in foster care” he says.
Today, Ric continues with the workshops, teaching young people across the country. Calling them rap master-classes, he uses music as a tool to help other young people regardless of their past to know that they can have a positive future.
The rapper told the Breaker: “The workshops served as therapy for me because there’s a lot of feelings and experiences that I wouldn’t generally share, not even with my foster carers.”
From rapper to teacher, Ric Flo still remains the creative director of Bournemouth grown Hip-Hop collective, Jungle Brown.
Growing up in Bournemouth
Commenting on the rap scene in the local area, Jungle Brown member Tony Bones said: “Back then there wasn’t much of a scene it was indie and rock. We had to move to build our network.”
The Bournemouth performance review 2019, reveals that black and ethnic minorities make up 8% of local residents. Growing up in a not so diverse area, Ric said he looked to commercial media for comparisons, “in the sense of identity music is what made me feel more comfortable in Bournemouth”.