Good guy Kendrick Lamar visits Jersey High School to talk about Toni Morrison and butterflies
Why? The rapper had gotten wind of High Tech teacher and poetry club organizer Brian Mooney who had written two blog posts, the first comparing Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly with Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, and a follow-up from his freshman English students a month later.
Lamar told Rolling Stone during a break, "I was intrigued that somebody other than myself can articulate and break down the concepts of To Pimp a Butterfly almost better than I can,” referring to Mooney’s original blog post, "That let me know he's a true lover of music."
And his response regarding this young fans? "I didn't think I made [To Pimp a Butterfly] for 16-year-olds," Lamar explained. "I always get, like, my parents or an adult saying, 'This is great, you have a message, you have themes, you have different genres of music.' But to get a kid actually telling me this, it's a different type of feeling, 'cause it lets me know that their thought process is just as advanced as mine, even if I'm 10, 15 years older."
Lamar’s visit was also accompanied by a panel including the rapper and education activist Jamila Lyiscott, hip-hop education advocate Christopher Emdin, the school's assistant principal Allyson Krone and a recent High Tech alum who held short conversations inspired by the students’ work. Naturally, Lamar closed out the day with a performance of "Alright."
For more coverage, Kendrick Lamar's visit to Jersey even inspired a hashtag on twitter: #kendrickatschool.
Cover: Wikipedia Commons.