Finding Peace in the Noise

Music reaches us in very deep ways, etching ideas and culture into our psyche. Rapper JusTme uses it to teach mindfulness— and love.

Three years ago California rapper Tim Scott Jr. was working at a YMCA branch as a front desk greeter—“hitting members with handshakes and smiles and joy”—when mindfulness hit him. At a job training session, he drew the attention of educator J.G. Larochette, founder of the Mind- ful Life Project in Richmond, CA. Larochette asked Scott if he knew what mindfulness was. “Nah, not really,” Scott replied. Over a cup of coffee, Larochette introduced him to mindful- ness and, before long, Scott became “JusTme,” a hip-hop purveyor of mindfulness for children in local public schools. Scott now has his own venture—JusTmindfulness—and a kid-friendly YouTube channel that features podcasts and such raps as “D.F.Y.L. (Don’t Flip Yo’ Lid)” and “Ain’t Worried” and “Mindful Life Style.”

What role does hip hop play in your own life?

When I was seven, my parents divorced. I didn’t have a voice for expressing my feelings—anger, frustration, and confusion—and I got into fights. But I also spent a lot of time drawing and listening to music on my Walk- man—and hip hop became my outlet. It had an angry kind of charge that helped diffuse my emotional energy in a positive way. Later, when stuff was presented…

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About the author

Victoria Dawson

Victoria Dawson is a freelance writer based in Washington, DC. She regularly contributes to Mindful.

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