Raised in the urban core of Kansas City, Roy Scott grew up idolizing gangster rap.
Inspired by 90s hip-hop artists such as N.W.A. and Bell Biv DeVoe, he always hoped to become a famous rapper.
But years later when raising his own son, a light bulb went off for Scott when he heard his 4-year-old reciting explicit rap lyrics. It wasn’t the type of influence he wanted for his son, which spurred an entrepreneurial idea to make a more positive impact not only for his kiddo but for many around the nation.
“The music was promoting drugs, violence, degrading women and everything he should not be hearing and I should not be talking about,” Scott said. “Something just sort of clicked. It inspired me to create healthy hip hop for kids.”
With music as a foundation, “Rappin’ Roy” Scott co-founded H3 Enterprises with professional entertainer and businessman Reggie “Regg” Gray in 2010. Together, the pair began producing music to help elementary-aged school kids while maintaining the same beats in popular hip-hop.
“I can’t blame all of my bad decisions on the music,” Scott said. “But, music does have a great influence on a person. Even if you don’t embrace what they’re saying, it’s still a subliminal message and it’s a part of you.”
With singles that encourage children to be physically active like “Wiggle” and to stay attentive in school like “Focused and Ready to Learn,” Scott said that the beats speak for themselves. To date, H3 Enterprises has produced more than 100 singles and performed over 300 live shows in 2016.
The duo was selected to appear on ABC’s Shark Tank in 2015 and granted a deal. But when they were disappointingly told the episode would not air, H3 Enterprise shifted its focus.
Instead of a children’s media brand — like the Wiggles or Sesame Street — H3 Enterprises is repositioning itself as an education tech company.
“The writing has always been on the wall,” Scott said. “Looking forward, we will specifically use our healthy music, character-based content and products to improve academic outcomes.”
Starting in 2016, Scott and Gray reinvented themselves and their brand. More 20,000 schools now use their music as one-minute “Brain Breaks” in the classroom.
The duo is keeping it moving in 2017, tapping a variety of resources in the metro. In January, H3 Enterprises was selected for Digital Sandbox KC and Scott joined Pipeline Entrepreneurs fellowship program. And on Thursday, Gray was admitted into the ScaleUP! KC program.
“We’re getting back in the trenches and getting connected with the right folks,” Gray said. “We’re a startup tech company, even though we have been around for a while.”
In addition to getting connected, this year Scott and Gray will focus on rolling out the “Keep it Moving Mat” into local classrooms. Similar to video games like Just Dance or Dance Dance Revolution, the mat incorporates physical education, music, math and language arts.
By 2018, H3 Enterprises wants to transition its musical library to a digital first subscription model. For ten dollars a year, educators will have license to use any of H3’s healthy beats in the classroom.
Check out healthy hip-hop for yourself by watching the video below. For more videos, go to the H3TV youtube page.