With school starting in the next few weeks for kids around the United States, I thought it could be fun to look at ways that hip hop has been more increasingly incorporated into learning from Kindergarten through college. The teachers who are creating songs for remembering literary devices to professors rapping their dissertations, it’s important to understand that students are learning a form poetry in the classroom as a way to connect them to the curriculum they are being forced to learn every year by state mandate.
Story | Sara Loretta
Image | via NPR
Mr. Bonner, the 2nd grade teacher from North Carolina, has taken the Ellen Degeneres world by storm at the beginning of 2017, because his student’s 5Ws (who, what, when, where, why and how) video went viral. As he discusses with Ellen, the students Mr. Bonner serves are at-risk youth, meaning they are impoverished, homeless and/or have learning disabilities. While he teaches at a Title I school, Bonner brings light into his classroom to ensure his students have a safe and fun learning environment.
– Related: History of Austin Hip Hop –
Mr. Mooney’s Hip Hop Lit class, not only dissects rap albums and analyzes the literary content that connects students with artists who look like them, instead of the historical “white dead guys” read in regular English classes. This group of students alongside Mr. Mooney caught the attention of Kendrick Lamar, who in turn came to the high school to listen to the student’s personal raps/slam poetry and then ended the day performing for the student body.
Obasi Shaw is a recent Harvard graduate, who turned in a self-produced rap album for his final thesis. This is the first project to ever be turned in by a Harvard undergrad, and so the word quickly spread, giving Shaw instant recognition from Complex and other media outlets.
There is no question that hip hop is an actual lifestyle and not just a music genre. Students of all ages can learn something from a rapper; whether that is social equality, problems with sexism in the media or more simply, seeing another point of view of the world. By incorporating hip hop into classrooms and learning techniques, students of all races, ethnicities and financial backgrounds in today’s world have the ability to connect with rhythm and rhyme.