Hip hop gets a bad rep, its seems to get blamed for everything from young people swearing to knife and gun crime. I have been listening to hip hop for over 20 years and I have not been mentally scared or turned into some sort of knife wielding, gun totting criminal.
In fact, hip hop has helped mould me into the person I am today. I have learnt about politics, different cultures and religions, crime, love, death, war and much more.
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes hip hop can be very hard to defend and I will admit nowadays there is a lot of rubbish around. Perhaps thats just me being a hip hop snob?
The fact I listen to hip hop often comes as a shock to both students and other teachers. When I am asked by students what music I like, I usually get this response:
“Hip hop? But you’re a teacher!”
Yes indeed I am! Which is precisely the reason I feel that hip hop can be used in the classroom to help teach anything from English to Politics or citizenship.
This is not a new idea. In fact a teacher I follow on Twitter who has the handle @infernaldepart (well worth following) used the song Ill Manors, by Plan B in one of his lessons recently.
I asked him why he used the song, this is what he said:
@mattbritland not at all. My year 9s are creating viral vids to be uploaded to YouTube on current issue and used vid for audience n purpose—
infernaldepart (@infernaldepart) April 12, 2012
For those who have not heard the song. Have a listen. Its a cracking tune and has some very important things to say. Although, no doubt the message will be misinterpreted by many.
My intention for the second part of this post is not to provide teaching resources, lessons plans or schemes of work. Instead it is to simply draw your attention to a musical art form that can be used to educate our young people.
I am going to choose one song to write about. Its written and performed by perhaps the best group in the UK at the moment Rhyme Asylum. The track is called Holding On from their 1st album State of Lunacy. I will break down the song and highlight some lyrics that can be used to stimulate discussion in the classroom.
Have a listen before I publish the second part of this post, which should be in about a week.
Enjoy and make sure you listen to the lyrics.
Be sure to look out for the second part of this post.