As a senior producer for The Oprah Winfrey Show, Candi Carter has carved out a successful career in the television industry. Little did she know that her work in TV production—along her love of hip-hop music—would one day help her son and children across the country learn their ABCs, 123s and more. Candi talks with Dr. Robin about It's Hip Hop, Baby!, her line of educational DVDs and CDs.
In 2003, Candi's son, Emerson, was born with some health problems. After several surgeries to correct, among other issues, a hole in his heart, Emerson's health improved but his developmental skills did not. "Unbeknownst to me, my son had a chromosomal disorder," she says. "Developmentally, he was really far behind." While doctors told her Emerson's disability would make it difficult for him to communicate and learn basic concepts, Candi says she found a way to get through to him. "I started singing and beat-boxing," she says. "When I couldn't get him to transition or do things, I would start singing what I wanted him to do or putting a beat to what I wanted him to do ... and it became an effective tool to communicate with him."
Soon, Candi tried her songs on other little children, teaching them the ABCs and more. "When you alter a song that a child already knows, they love it," she says. Emerson slowly began learning educational concepts from Candi's songs, and she decided to make her method available to parents everywhere through the DVD and CD It's Hip Hop, Baby! "I'm taking education concepts—we teach letters, colors, numbers and animals—and we mix it in with hip-hop beats and rhythms, so typical children will learn faster because they are singing it," she says.
By Fall 2008, Candi hopes to produce three more DVDs with her unique teaching style and help kids of all levels learn faster while having fun.
Printed from Oprah.com on Wednesday, March 12, 2014