Roy Scott: Uplifting Children’s Lives with Healthy Hip Hop
Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and an online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, who are advancing the UN SDGs.
Spiffy here with the scoop on the entrepreneurial leaders of Planet Earth. As the only interplanetary journalist stationed on this blue planet, I’m thrilled to present this galactic exclusive with Roy Scott, the CEO of Healthy Hip Hop. Let’s learn what’s happening at Healthy Hip Hop and how Roy is making a positive impact in the world.
Spiffy: Hi Roy, thanks a million for talking to me today. Tell me, what challenge is Healthy Hip Hop addressing?
Roy: Thanks for having me, Spiffy! Healthy Hip Hop is transforming a generation of children through infusing hip hop culture with innovative technology, education, and positive attributes. We understand that hip hop is the voice of our youth, yet the challenge is that most of the mainstream messaging is not appropriate for kids. Healthy Hip Hop is providing a safe hip hop and social media experience for children and families.
Spiffy: What motivated you to do it?
Roy: As a kid, I was heavily influenced by hip hop music and culture. After graduating high school, I decided to forgo my college education to become a rapper in the streets of Kansas City. Everything changed for me when I was picking up my then four-year-old son, Justus, from school. I noticed him repeating my lyrics word for word. This music promoted drugs and violence. This was my epiphany moment that sparked the change in my life. And, then, Healthy Hip Hop was born.
Spiffy: That’s inspiring! How would you say that your organization is working towards a more equitable world?
Roy: Healthy Hip Hop is uplifting the lives of children through the medium of hip hop, providing positive representation, and improving student learning environments. Positively activating the culture and empowering kids to achieve academic success, personal growth, and mental and physical well-being.
Spiffy: Tell me about a recent organization milestone or initiative. What impact does it make?
Roy: The Healthy Hip Hop mobile and online platform just surpassed 10K users. We were selected for the Black Ambition Program. We recently onboarded new schools in Kansas City, Dallas, and Atlanta for our in-person and online programming. We are expanding our reach to engage with teachers and educators, while growing our network through exclusive business accelerators.
Spiffy: Please share an experience when you faced failure and didn't give up. What did you learn from it?
Roy: Healthy Hip Hop was selected to pitch on season seven of Shark Tank and successfully closed a deal with Kevin O'Leary, AKA Mr. Wonderful, for a $500K investment—only to have our episode blocked from airing and the deal pulled off the table due to Hollywood politics. Losing this opportunity was a big blow for our company. Yet, we didn't allow it to break our spirits. We realized we had something special. We learned that we needed to improve our business model. Shortly after this experience, we made the pivot to the tech space and successfully raised over $1M in venture funding, being selected for TechStars and Google for Black Founders Fund.
Spiffy: Congratulations! And, thanks for speaking with me today, Roy—it’s been an honor!
Roy Scott is CEO of Healthy Hip Hop Inc., a platform that infuses hip-hop culture with innovative technology, education, and positive attributes for children. Roy is a battle-tested former corporate executive turned driven entrepreneur, who has a wide range of experience from pitching on Shark Tank to securing over $300K in non-dilutive grants to build a tech company from scratch. (Nominated by Ladderworks. First published on the Ladderworks website on October 21, 2022.)© 2022 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Jason Block. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Launchpad: Creative Entrepreneurship Workshops for K-3 Kids and their caregivers here.