Rapper IDK and No Label announce No Label Academy

Photo: Cody Tu; Courtesy of the label

It is with great excitement today that No Label and rapper, producer, and visionary IDK announce the creation of No Label Academy, a music business course that will revolutionize creative education. For the inaugural launch, No Label and IDK are constructing an immersive ten-day course convening primarily BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) students from around the country at Harvard’s campus to learn the ins and outs of the music business. Focusing on mental health issues to financial literacy, to creative innovation, they are teaching the music business in a way it has never been taught before. Rolling Stone exclusively announced the news.

Co-founded in 2018 by Marcelo HD and Miles Weddle, No Label uses Pop culture to make knowledge more accessible to everyone. The organization pairs familiar faces with experts to explore real-world problems, presenting information in engaging new formats that foster meaningful conversations. Over the past two years, No Label has worked with Travis Scott, Bad Bunny, Saweetie, Cordae, and many other Pop culture figures. They’ve explored a myriad of topics including criminal justice reform, creative activism, bridging the generational gap, and entrepreneurship in Hip-Hop.

IDK (Ignorantly Delivering Knowledge) is an innovator with few equals. The Maryland-raised rapper and producer subverted genre tropes with his 2015 debut project SubTrap, a nuanced and inventive exploration of the intersection of drug dealing and addiction. Early into his career, IDK also found new and innovative ways to market himself on social media without a label. Since then, he’s continued to make unprecedented moves both in and outside of the studio with a joint venture between his label Clue Records and Warner Records.

The idea for No Label Academy came about in February 2020 after IDK spoke about criminal justice reform at a No Label event at Harvard. Frustrated by how inaccessible music business education and academia are to many creatives, IDK and No Label’s co-founders Marcelo HD and Miles Weddle theorized how they could create something that would reimagine creativity in the context of education. Developing their ideas over the past few months, they decided to create a course that would teach students essential skills that too often get swept under the rug in today’s environment. Some of these skills include managing mental health, overseeing a team, and cultivating a strong understanding of financial literacy.

We are thrilled to be partnering with IDK to create No Label Academy, shared Marcelo HD and Miles Weddle. At the core of No Label is the idea that education should empower individuals to break down societal labels and barriers. So often, creators are discouraged from pursuing a career in the arts because it is either deemed too risky or not lucrative enough, ultimately depriving the world of their creative potential. We believe No Label Academy’s innovative curriculum will equip the next generation with creative inspiration and the business acumen they need to make their dreams in the arts a reality.

No Label and IDK’s ultimate goal is to show that it is possible to have a sustainable career in music and create a more equitable pipeline for BIPOC students into the music industry. They will be announcing more details about their selective application process in 2021.

Written by Manny King John

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