Jay-Z, American Gangster

The Illuminated Series: Where Jay-Z Makes His Former Teacher Eat His Words

Jose 4 Comments

Hip-hop as a culture and a music genre has always had a dichotomous relationship with this word “teacher.” On the one end, many of the later generation of rappers were high school and college drop-outs, including 50 Cent, Notorious BIG, and Kanye West. Yet, rappers like Gangstarr’s Guru and Public Enemy’s Chuck D both graduated college. Plus, KRS-One, Rakim, and …



Jose 4 Comments

Kanye West recently got me to thinking about the callous facade men and women take on when not satisfied with matters of the heart. Along the lines of Jay-Z’s “They say you can’t turn a bad girl good, but once a good girl’s gone bad, she’s gone forever,” Kanye’s song “Heartless” is an honest musing on the deterioration of an …

The Message


Part 2 of The Hip-Hop in the Classroom Series: The mainstream rap of today continues to perpetuate the same themes of sex, drugs, and violence we’ve heard almost ad nauseam since the ealy ’90s. Yet, the gems that often redeem and exalt rap into the hood’s champion comes from the oft-ignored B-sides of the most popular rappers in the hip-hop …

Penny Harvest: Abe Lincolns Like Whoa


I hate to brag, but: “Mazel Tov! It’s a celebration, chickens! L’Chayim! I wish for you a hundred years of success, but it’s my time!” courtesy of Jay-Z from “Roc Boys” With little paper promotion (mostly word-of-mouth) and without a foundation for a Penny Harvest Committee until about 2 weeks in, my school collected approximately over 2,000 dollars. By my …

Look, I’m In A Nutshell

Short Notes 5 Comments

Did you ever get someone or a group of people just stare at you for no good reason? I don’t mean kids, because that’s their natural tendency. I mean adults. I’d understand if I was breathtakingly handsome, but I consider myself cool, at most photogenic. Of course, people offer different opinions on that matter. Personally, I think their assertions are …

Walk On Water

Jose 14 Comments

When it comes to my principles, I didn’t tell them who I quoted from, but I had a discussion around them. What’s great about these principles is that I get to discuss them while secretly learning more about who they are as people and as students. I tested their ability to follow procedures and respect others’ opinions. Of the few …