Deaf-initely Dope | A black kid from Atlanta, Matt Maxey was born with significantly reduced hearing and struggled to learn to use his voice and listen to teachers as they transmitted a microphone feed directly into his hearing aid. Maxey didn’t learn sign language until he attended college at Gallaudet University, the nation’s premier institution of higher learning for the deaf and hard of hearing. After dropping out of college, Maxey took on odd jobs to pay the rent, and in his spare time, he filmed himself on a smartphone signing the lyrics to rap and hip hop songs. Slow by slow, Maxey’s efforts picked up steam on the internet, and today, he runs Deafinitely Dope, which helps educate children of color in ASL within the context of modern music. Maxey has also served as an ASL interpreter for international rapping sensation Chance the Rapper and daily helps break the barriers that separate Deaf youth from hip hop culture.