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."
Click here to read the original NPR article, and click here to see Mooney’s original blog post.