“Behind the Mask” is an original new song and music video designed to increase the use of face masks as an effective means of stopping the spread of the coronavirus around the world. It is the third installment in a trilogy of COVID-related music video PSAs produced by Hip Hop Public Health, the New York-based, nonprofit organization founded in 2006 to build health equity through the transformative power of music, art and science. With the number of coronavirus cases continuing to rise around the country while disproportionately affecting communities of color, the goal of “Behind the Mask” is to proactively address the issue by driving the conversation and debate around COVID-19 safety protocols into action with culturally relevant and compassionate messaging.
“It was an honor to collaborate with Hip Hop Public Health, Doug E. Fresh and Darryl DMC McDaniels on this project. Everyone has, in some way, been impacted by COVID-19 and we all need to listen and adhere to the message of Behind the Mask as a symbol of love, a symbol of trust and a way forward to a better future.” – Raheem DeVaughn
A running theme encapsulated in the “Behind the Mask” song is love: how our actions or inactions can dangerously impact those we love, and how, from behind the mask, promoting community and neighborhood health, while protecting and saving the lives of our loved ones and those with whom we come into contact daily.
Behind the Mask was written by multi-platinum composer Quennel Worthy, and features Grammy®-nominated vocalist Raheem DeVaughn, backed by Grammy®-winning rapper Darryl DMC McDaniels from Run-DMC and the iconic rapper and HHPH Co-Founder, Doug E. Fresh. With medical oversight by Dr. Olajide Williams, Co-Founder of Hip Hop Public Health and Chief of Staff, Department of Neurology, New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center, Behind the Mask utilizes HHPH’s evidence-based behavior change Multisensory Multilevel Health Education Model . The video focuses on proper mask-wearing techniques while incorporating culturally tailored, personalized themes that drive a strong emotional connection to the message, which in turn has been shown to facilitate behavior change.
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