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Ian Willey, 28, had his first experience with hip hop early.

"I wrote this great poem once in second grade called Fat Pat. It started like this, "Once there was a boy named Pat, who was very, very, very Fat." And ever since then I liked rhymes," Willey said.

Willey is now actively pursuing his dream of becoming a hip hop artist, having recently released his first professional album.

But the words and motivation behind that album originate from an unexpected place — 90 fifth grade students at an elementary school in Harlem.

Voice is a product of the MediaStorm Storytelling Workshop, where participants work alongside MediaStorm staff to create an intimate, character-driven documentary in just one week. Learn more about upcoming MediaStorm workshops and online training at mediastorm.com/train.

Published: December 14, 2011


Video: Christian Als, Edith Champagne
Editor: Janine Boreland
Field Producer: Rick Gershon
Producer: Tim McLaughlin
Intern: Caitlyn Greene
Executive Producer: Brian Storm
Music: Ian Willey, Christopher Cape
Special Thanks: Joe Negron, Dave Levin

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