MA, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director
Max grew up in Northern New Mexico, the son of a Jewish father and Cuban/Chilean mother. Growing up mixed race in a multicultural environment gave him a wide range of perspective and exposed him to many walks of life. Max graduated with his Master’s degree in counseling psychology from John F Kennedy University with a specialization in Transpersonal Psychology in 2014. There he lead collaborative poetry/rhythm workshops and wrote his thesis on Hip Hop Therapy. After graduating he worked for 5 years as a mental health clinician with at-risk/at promise youth in various elementary schools, middle schools and high schools throughout the bay area. His work in these schools included developing and leading Hip Hop Therapy groups/workshops as well as providing various trainings to staff and parents around the areas of mindfulness, trauma and suicide prevention. Before attending graduate school Max worked for several years with an organization called The Beat Within, where he led poetry/rap and creative writing workshops with incarcerated youth in Juvenile Halls in Alameda and Santa Clara counties. Here he truly discovered his passion for working with youth in a creative capacity and witnessed the raw therapeutic power of hip hop, and it’s potential to engage, deeply impact, and transform the lives of these youth. He has since made it his mission to effectively bridge the gap between hip hop and therapy. During grad school he met fellow JFK student Jonah Scott and the assemblage of this vision became clear. Ever since Max was a young teen hip hop has always been his first love and passion and was his refuge and source of strength through many challenging periods of his life. This supportive and developmental relationship with the art form has been as both a listener as well as a creator. Max is an MC and producer who’s creative expression is often informed by his strong passion and hunger for social justice. Part of his motivation stems from a rich family history of social and political activism that goes back many generations. Max is actively involved in various Oakland hip hop collectives and brings this artistic perspective into his work with youth.
MA, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director
Jonah is a Bay Area native with a strong family lineage in social justice and sociopolitical activism. As an undergraduate in the Peace and Conflict Studies department at UC Berkeley, he focused on exploring links between creativity and health, and how these could be implemented in areas such as violence prevention and conflict resolution. He then went on to obtain his MA in Counseling Psychology from John F. Kennedy University in 2013, where he wrote his thesis on hip hop as a therapeutic medium. It was here where he began to connect the dots between his life-long love and passion for hip-hop, his instilled understanding around structural social and racial inequalities, and his innate drive to be of service. It was also here where he met Rhythmic Mind co-founder Max Kline, and began development of the program model and curriculum. With over 20 years creating original hip hop music, he has experienced first hand its therapeutic capacity, and is greatly motivated by the desire to share this with others. After obtaining his Psychology degree, he worked passionately as a therapist with at-risk/at-promise youth at numerous middle and high schools throughout Oakland, CA. This work included designing and facilitating Hip Hop Therapy groups and utilizing the creation of original hip hop music in individual sessions with youth.
Makeda Tucker AKA Queen M.A.K., describes herself as a Bay Area Black Native, a writer, a rapper, and a producer. She loves making music that educates and that people can relate to. A truly powerful young woman, Makeda works with Rhythmic Mind as a Youth Artist Liaison, helping to facilitate some of our workshops and cyphers, providing youth peer connection. Her ability to use her formidable musical skills in the service of uplifting others always shines through, and her talent and dedication to the work is authentic and heartfelt.
nelson ambeau III
Nelson AKA Ambeau Inc. has a true love for music, a passion for working hard, and a strong will to help others find their goals. Born in San Francisco and raised in Vallejo, CA, he is an incredibly talented multi-instrument musician, composer, rapper and producer/beatmaker. A graduate of our programs himself, he knows first hand how powerful the work we do can be, and is driven by a strong desire to share that experience with other youth. Working with us as a Youth Artist Liason, he uses his impressive musical expertise to assist youth in our programs with beat-making and rhyme writing.
Gabriel Aranda, or more commonly known by friends as Gabi, has lived in the Bay Area his whole life. Born in San Francisco and raised in Oakland and Berkeley, he spent his whole life in creative environments. As a self-taught musician, he has been producing and recording music projects for himself and other artists since the age of 16, and has been privileged to perform on large stages around the world. Gabi spent 3 years straight traveling throughout Central and South America, and during this time he taught theater workshops to international students and developed a music studio which he ran in Ecuador for over a year. Gabi was our first staff artist, and primarily assists us in teaching beat production skills to youth, as well as doing some mixing and mastering work on the songs the youth complete.
Johnnie Cleveland aka JC is a prolific producer, artist, and songwriter based in the Bay Area currently living in Novato, CA with his son, daughter, and wife. He has a web series called “Rhythms With JC” where he makes live beats on the spot from kits he created from scratch. In addition, he hosts a local artist community event by the name of “Rhythms & Rhymes” aka RNR415 in Fairfax, CA. Over the years, Johnnie has been consulting, working with kids, producing artists, headlining his own shows and has had the honor to Dj and perform with notable Hip Hop artists such as The Locksmith, Nef The Pharoah, Zion I, and San Quinn. He utilizes his dynamic talents in assisting us with teaching youth beat-making/production skills, providing live beats/finger drumming for some of our Freestyle Therapy Cyphers, as well as helping mix and master songs the youth create.
Jeremy Harris Herron
Jeremy DeSean Harris Herron AKA Remyd is a legend in the world of battle rap as well as an extremely gifted MC and songwriter. Born in St. Louis, MO during the Reagan era, he has been a challenge to normality since his conception. As a battle rapper Remyd has faced some of the best rappers in the world. His work has been cited by many publications such as The Source magazine as well websites such as Worldstar Hip Hop and Hip Hop DX and he has performed in almost every major city in the US. In addition to his battle rap/music career he also works as an Empowerment Coordinator with a non-profit called Village Connect, leading African American male empowerment workshops. In his work with us he facilitates powerful presentations on the origins and history of Hip Hop music and culture and also uses his extraordinary ability as a freestyle rapper/lyricist in assisting us with our Freestyle Therapy Cyphers (FTC’s).