Kevin "Khao" Cates

With over 30 million combined records sold, multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated producer Kevin “Khao” Cates has revolutionized the sound of Hip-Hop by producing sounds and melodies that cross various genres of music. Cates is the founder of Bridge DA Gap Movement, Inc. (BDG), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that uses music to enhance the social-emotional development of youth in character building principles, life skills, and self-regulation. BDG proposes to solve the two greatest problems educators face: “How do we get students engaged and excited about learning again?” and “How do we address students’ social-emotional needs in and out of the classroom so that our youth can focus on the academic tasks at hand?” BDG is designed to meet students where they are and teach them. Khao has over eight years of success implementing principles from the curriculum in schools in the U.S. and the Bahamas and has been a guest lecturer at numerous universities.

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Arts Disciplines: Music, Storytelling

Core Content Curriculum Areas: Music, Technology

Specialized Content Areas: Arts Integration, Anti-bullying, Character Education, Social-Emotional Learning

Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, College

Special Populations: At-risk Students

Pre-Service Learning and Professional Development: Post-Secondary/Pre-Service Learning, Professional Development for K-12 Teachers, Professional Development for Teaching Artists

Geographic Availability: Metro Atlanta, North Georgia, Middle Georgia, South Georgia

Program Fees:

  • Performance Fee: $2,500 for the concert within the Atlanta Metro Area and up to an additional $1,500 in travel expenses outside of the Atlanta metro area
  • Curriculum Subscription: $599 per class (1 teacher and 30 students) or $3,499 per site (10 teachers and 350 students)
  • Workshop Fee: $350 online two-hour facilitator training or $750 in-person two-hour facilitator training (Travel expenses for outside of the Atlanta metro area)
  • Residency Fee: $1,750 in-person one-day residency or $3,500 in-person three-day residency (Travel expenses for outside of the Atlanta metro area)

Artistic Profile:

With over 30 million combined records sold, multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated producer, Kevin “Khao” Cates has revolutionized the sound of Hip-Hop by producing sounds and melodies that cross various genres of music. Cates is the founder of Bridge DA Gap Movement, Inc. (BDG), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that uses music to enhance the social-emotional development of youth in character building principles, life skills, and self-regulation. BDG proposes to solve the two most significant problems educators face: “How do we get students engaged and excited about learning again?” and “How do we address students’ social-emotional needs in and out of the classroom so that our youth can focus on the academic tasks at hand?” BDG is designed to meet students where they are and teach them:

  • How to study, analyze, and synthesize data to make informed decisions.
  • To understand the influence of media (videos, songs, and television) on their lifestyles.
  • To understand how what one consumes (particularly in popular culture) impacts markets at the local, national and global level.
  • To utilize decision-making skills to engage in behaviors that will positively affect their educational, professional, personal, and social outcomes.

BDG aims to equip our youth to stay in school by addressing complex personal issues. BDG challenges conventional ways of reaching underserved youth and communities through an innovative, one-of-a-kind program, encourages youth to be successful and significant, reaches out to positively impact students to stay in school, and focuses on expanded opportunities gained by graduating from high school and pursuing higher education.

Teaching Experience:

Khao has over eight years of success implementing principles from the curriculum in schools in the U.S. and the Bahamas. An evaluation conducted by Emory University (with data analysis backed by CDC affiliated researchers) examined Bridge DA Gap’s program fidelity and implementation. The analysis revealed that program facilitators had positive experiences with the program and the curriculum was highly rated. Facilitators found that the real-life issues addressed by the curriculum were beneficial and relatable to students. Student survey data revealed 82% of respondents had lost a loved one, and 100% were aware of HIV (both concepts are addressed in the curriculum). Khao asked Frazier-Anderson Research & Evaluation to examine student and teacher perceptions of Bridge DA Gap’s curricular components. The analysis suggested what piqued student interest in Bridge DA Gap was the inclusion of stories, questions, and songs that were relatable and relevant, as well as the inclusion of video messages from Khao and actress Meagan Good, speaking directly to them, introducing topic chapters. It was suggested that Bridge DA Gap could be structured for either individual, small group, or large group instruction. It was also proposed that chapters could be implemented sequentially or implemented based on student needs and interests. Suggested times for instructional delivery varied from 60-90 minutes, based on the setting. Khao has been a guest lecturer at various universities: Clark Atlanta University; the University of Wisconsin in Madison; Auburn University; Georgia Tech; Georgia State; Alabama State; Emory University; and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Sample Programs:

  • Curriculum: The Bridge DA Gap curriculum for middle and high school students teaches character building traits through music using 12 key social constructs: Anger Management, Perception, Excuses, Patience, Heartbreak, The Company You Keep, Drug Abuse, Self-Respect, Self-Love, Self-Determination, HIV Prevention, and Death. Each social construct has a song that correlates with it, and each chapter contains an overview explaining why the trait is important, a blueprint of how to personally apply the trait to their lives, and a story providing a real-life example of a current situation. Students are also provided with an opportunity to reflect and apply the information through guided activities. The following hardware is needed to implement the program: a classroom with a projector, television, and home theater speaker system along with a computer or tablet and headphones for each student.
    • Curriculum fee: $599 per class (1 teacher and 30 students) or $3,499 per site (10 teachers and 350 students).
  • Empowerment Concert: The Bridge DA Gap Youth Empowerment Concert is an exciting 1-hour hip-hop performance designed to reach upper elementary school, middle school, high school, and college students where they are and motivate them using songs and content from our curriculum. Topics covered during the concert include patience, self-love, and peer pressure. Multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated producer, Kevin “Khao” Cates performs live, accompanied by two hype men. The concert is self-contained with backing tracks and its state-of-the-art sound and light package. The performance is adaptable, but a stage with a microphone system is preferable.
    • Concert fee: $2,500
  • Training: We have a network of social-emotional experts available to provide motivational, how-to, and informational webinars, workshops, and courses for youth, parents, and educators. We offer four levels of training: 1) Our free knowledge base and help files are available to users once they log in to the site; 2) Our Online Video Training Series provides examples of how Bridge DA Gap can be implemented into your program; 3) Our Live Online Training Seminar is an in-depth exploration into how the social-emotional wellbeing of students plays a significant role in their future academic and personal lives; 4) Our In-Person Training Workshop is an expansion of our seminar or can be customized to fit your program needs.
    • Training fees:
      • $350 online two-hour facilitator training workshop
      • $750 in-person two-hour facilitator training workshop
      • $1,750 in-person one-day residency
      • $3,500 in-person three-day residency
  • Curriculum, Empowerment Concert, and Training Combined: Bridge DA Gap Movement, Inc. has designed a teacher-facilitator friendly process for program implementation. Training is conducted to teach facilitators how to implement the Bridge DA Gap curriculum.
    • Step 1:  Facilitators complete a two-hour facilitator training session with Bridge DA Gap.
    • Step 2: Bridge DA Gap staff conducts an introductory session including concert and Bridge DA Gap program overview
    • Step 3: Instructional delivery method determined (individual, small, whole group or a combination)
    • Step 4: First full session begins with facilitators welcoming students
    • Step 5: Facilitators and students engage in a preliminary goal setting session
    • Step 6:  Students watch the Bridge DA Gap Overview DVD with Meagan Good and Mr. Cates.
    • Step 7:  Students listen to the corresponding chapter’s song
    • Step 8:  Students read and/or listen to the chapter overview
    • Step 9:  Facilitators engage students in individual or group discussion on chapter
    • Step 10: Students read and/or listen to the Solution Section of the chapter
    • Step 11: Students complete self- reflective writing activities
    • Step 12: Facilitators engage in individual or group discussion on Positive Solutions with students
    • Step 13: Students read and/or listen to a short story,
    • Step 14: Students complete self-reflective writing activities,
    • Step 15:  Facilitators engage in final topics and close out session
    • Step 16: Students participate in Creative Day, at the end of each chapter in which they write a song, poem, role-play or tell a story.
    • Step 17: Students receive certificates of completion.
    • Step 18: Bridge DA Gap emails survey evaluations for facilitators and students to fill out and return.

Sample Lesson Plans/Study Guides:

Program Photos: 

Program Videos: