When Brian Mooney decided to teach his high school freshman about Kendrick Lamar’s "To Pimp a Butterfly", the North Bergen, N.J. teacher could not have anticipated that he would inspire a visit from one of hip-hop’s most acclaimed and talked-about superstars.
But he did just that after seeing Mooney’s widely-circulated blog post about why he taught the rapper’s latest album in conjunction with lessons on Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye. NPR caught a video, which you can see above, documenting the rapper’s visit and showing off Mooney’s students’ various talents in rap, dance, and spoken word. Some of the students helped Mooney put together a class called "Hip Hop Lit", and they are featured prominently in the video. Says one of the students about Lamar’s album:
"I can connect to it because it’s in a language I can understand. Music is one of the universal languages, and it’s one of the best teaching tools you can implement in school."