High School Cypher

It was the summer of 2013 when super producer Andrew Messam first had an epiphany. Youth in his community were eager to share their musical talent, but lacked a formal outlet to do so. To rectify this issue, he crafted a plan – a plan that would grant those same youth the opportunity to learn, develop and master their musical prowess in a fun creative environment where they could become stars in the process.

That plan led to the creation of the next generation music education program, High School Cypher (HSC).  The HSC program has provided a platform for over 200 youth in 56 different high schools in the DC metro area, allowing them to come together and artistically express themselves through positive, and clean rap. Youth in the HSC also gain something else – musical knowledge. HSC Integrates lesson plans from local music teachers along with conducting workshops to bridge the musical knowledge gap. HSC helps participants learn more about the musical process, the behind-the-scenes work, and fundamentals that are important to their progression in a career in music.

In addition to developing musical talent, the HSC program promoted academic achievement. All HSC artists must be currently enrolled in school, with at least a 2.0 GPA, and have positive attendance and behavior records. HSC’s 100% graduation rate is no doubt attributed to the program’s strict adherence to these guidelines, and ensures that the students who participate give as much attention to education as they do to their music.

Over the last four years the HSC program has become a media sensation, as it has been viewed over a half-million times on online media outlets like YouTube and World Star Hip Hop. HSC has also received recognition by news outlets such as The Washington Post, the Sentinel, and Fox5 D.C.

HSC continues to inspire and has caught the attention of local Maryland government official Angela Angel as well.

“I watched their two (HSC) videos with kids that were rapping. They weren’t cursing. They were talking about good things in school. I reached out and wanted to honor and recognize the work that they are doing, and encourage them to keep pushing,” said Prince George’s County Delegate Angela Angel.

Since its inception four years ago, HSC has helped cultivate the artistic talent and musical knowledge of hundreds of young people in the DC metro area – and now with much success, HSC is poised to expand its reach worldwide.


“Tell the truth, at first I didn’t like school, use to be on the block instead of night school, now I’m back at the class and not the hallways. Graduate, can’t wait to see my mom’s face.”

Rap lyrics

from a High School Cypher student


The High School Cypher Program will prepare students to excel in academics , artistic expression, performance and production. Giving those with something to say a means to see behind the scene and learn different aspects in communications. We encourage positive decision-making, a passion for learning, responsibility, creativity, and character development.


To provide an outlet for the youth that promotes:

  • Attendance in school
  • Academically responsibility
  • Positive decision-making
  • Peer Leadership
  • Personal and Professional Development


  • Improved academic performance
  • Increased high school graduation rate
  • Demonstrates more positive decision-making
  • Exhibits personal and professional maturity and growth
  • Model leadership
  • Respectful behavior in all interactions
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