Editor(s), Words Beats & Life: The Global Journal of Hip-Hop Culture



Time Commitment

A few hours per month


Long-Term (6 months-1 year)


1525 Newton St NW
United States


REPORTS TO: Editor-in-Chief

About Words Beats & Life, Inc.

Founded in 2002, Words Beats & Life transforms individuals and whole communities through the core elements of hip-hop culture. At the heart of all that we do is the belief that hip-hop can serve as the necessary filter between hope and despair for the youth of the District of Columbia.

WBL currently serves 150 students at its five Urban Arts Academy sites in D.C. and up to 300 students during the summer. At WBL, we feel that hip-hop is the ideal means for creative expression to break the cycle of hopelessness because of its history and culture, which is rooted in the community itself. By valuing hip-hop culture, we validate the students themselves. Our staff develops curriculum, projects, and programs geared specifically towards breaking the cycle of poverty and hopelessness. WBL also organizes a local and national network of hip-hop based organizations (The Cipher), which equips organizational leaders with the tools and experiences necessary to build sustainable communities.

WBL accomplishes its goals through two main program areas—The Urban Arts Academy, a pre-vocational arts program for youth ages 5-23 in the District of Columbia, and The Cipher, a growing resource for our ever-expanding network of hip-hop based organizations. This year, The Cipher will expand to four geographies for its third national gathering, Remixing the Art of Social Change: A Hip-Hop Approach teach-ins: St. Paul, Minnesota; Chicago, Illinois; San Francisco, CA; and Washington, D.C. Past teach-ins have drawn a total of over 150 organizations from around the U.S. doing comparable work that were previously working in isolation from one another.

The Cipher is a multi-component program that is completely unique in the hip-hop nonprofit field. However, the focus is singular—to serve as an invaluable resource to hip-hop independent artists, non-profit organizations, scholars and activists both nationally and internationally. This is accomplished by providing research-based resources, convening members of the field, establishing promising practices for this field, advocating on behalf of the field with members of the foundation and corporate communities.

About Words. Beats. Life: The Global Journal of Hip-Hop Culture

Words. Beats. Life: The Global Journal of Hip-Hop Culture is a peer-reviewed, international “journezine” of art and hip-hop studies. A hybrid periodical published by the 501(c)(3) non-profit, Words Beats & Life, Inc., the Journal is committed to developing and showcasing the creative talents and expertise of the field, in a layout that is uniquely hip-hop inspired. We are published biannually, intended to nurture the development of a community of scholars and artists whose work we put in dialogue with one another. Since 2002, Words. Beats. Life: The Global Journal of Hip-Hop Culture has devoted its pages to both emerging and established intellectuals and artists. The premier resource for hip-hop theory and practice, we hope that the work we publish will both elevate and resource the fields of hip-hop studies and the work of hip-hop non-profits helping each to move to the next phase of their respective growth, in America and around the globe.

Our Vision: To foster a sense of scholarship and a deeper understanding and appreciation for hip-hop culture, its artifacts, its leaders and practitioners (grassroots activists, artists, and educators).

Our Mission: To serve as a venue to cultivate critical insight into the relevance and meaning of all elements of hip-hop culture.

Our Goals:

  1. To publish and distribute a print version of the journal twice yearly.
  2. To create a community of subscribers which includes, but is not limited to, pubic and college libraries, university and high school departments.
  3. To offer a scholarship for textbooks to graduating high school senior(s) whose work has been selected for publication and who have been accepted to a college or university.
  4. To publish writers from all over the world and to simultaneously support the already existing global community of hip-hop scholars, artists and activists.
  5. To promote the study and evaluation of hip-hop culture in an academic format.
  6. To promote the teaching and studying of hip-hop on par with other academic foci.
  7. To increase the number of hip-hop related courses being taught in universities across the globe.


• Must have a proven track record as a successful editor/writer;

• Must have experience working on a literary/arts/culture publication;

• Must be knowledgeable of small non-profit operations, with a working knowledge of hip-hop scholarship, visual and performing arts, creative fiction and non-fiction writing. Working knowledge of arts education a plus;

• Must see value in building systems for artists and scholars to engage in dialogue. The ability to multi task and thrive in a diverse environment with a diverse constituency is a must;

• Must be an experienced writer and/or literary critic with enthusiasm for the arts as they pertain to hip-hop culture;

• Must have the ability to work with a dynamic team while, at the same time, being able to follow through on multiple projects/deadlines with minimal oversight;

• Must have strong interpersonal and written communications skills

Compensation: The stipend is commensurate with experience.


  • Stipend Provided

How To Apply


Send cover letter, resume or cv along with a writting sample to mazi@wblinc.org with the subject "Editor(s)"