By day, Archie Hill patrols beaches, from Malibu to San Pedro, as a code enforcement officer for the LA County Department of Beaches and Harbors.
By night, he is the mastermind behind 3rd Rock Hip Hop, a "Green Rap" group whose music is aimed at spreading messages about environmental stewardship to youth.
"It's just really a big deal for me," said Hill, who grew up in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles. "Like, this department and working for the beach, has shined a different light on just how I look at nature overall, you know what I mean?"
The group felt that they weren’t seeing young African-Americans being represented at local conservation events, and had a vision to use hip hop music to bridge that gap. The Department of Beaches and Harbors decided to partner with Archie’s environmentally-focused hip hop passion-project to host "Kids Earth Day" this spring at Dockweiler State Beach.
"We as a department said, you know what this is so good," said Carol Baker, spokesperson for the Department of Beaches and Harbors. "It’s such a great message, and it's so engaging for children, so let's do something to showcase it."
The "Green Rap" group has performed concerts and book readings at elementary and middle schools around LA County. Their forthcoming debut album will be out in a few weeks. For more information on their music, books, or how to book them to play at a school, click here.
"Even at our event, there are so many people coming from these inner-cities that haven’t been to the beach before,” said Warren Dickson, who along with Rhonda Phillips, make up the other members of 3rd Rock Hip Hop. "And, when they come, they get to interact with other people and everyone can see we’re not that far apart."