CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — On the streets of Cambridge, summer sounds like the beat of a hip hop song.
It’s part of the hip hop transformation, where the Cambridge Community Center puts professional rappers, Cambridge police and teenagers in a studio all summer long.
“These kids create their own beats, write their own lyrics. It’s whatever they bring to the table, they create it,” Darrin ‘Delta Kilo’ Korte explained.
The 20 students perform several live concerts and record a live album to help raise money for the community center.
"It opens up a dialogue and have a conversation with them about some of the stuff they recorded and if they want to get it off their chest, we give them that platform," Imam ‘Flash’ Firman said.
But they're also building relationships with police officers.
“We build that bond during the summer and it usually stays,” Officer Michael ‘Whytee’ Daniliuk told Boston 25 News.
"They recognize us as persons,” Officer Anthony ‘Big Time’ Santiago echoed.
These officers have street cred.
"Whytee is dope. He has bars,” Kourtney, also known as Anastasia, said. "I think this is kind of a good way to bring you back to, ‘hey, there are healthy ways to express yourself.’"
The teens also get some summer job money, but they say that's not the biggest benefit.
“This is rare for me to say, but I don't really care about the money,” Aliah, also known as ‘Royalty’, said. “I care more about being in the booth and having this opportunity to be in the studio.”
The end of summer showcase performance will be Aug. 17 at the Bridge Sound and Stage.
Cox Media Group