GZA and Dr. Christopher Emdin of Columbia University have announced plans for an innovative new project in education. The unlikely duo, who met on Neil deGrasse Tyson’s radio show, have teamed up to use hip-hop to teach science in schools.
The project, which is just preparing to enter its pilot stage, will use the format of a cypher to educate students. Dr. Emdin explained the idea thusly:
“A hip-hop cypher is the perfect pedagogical moment, where someone’s at the helm of a conversation, and then one person stops and another picks up. There’s equal turns at talking. When somebody has a great line, the whole audience makes a ‘whoo,’ which is positive reinforcement … All of those things that are happening in the hip-hop cypher are what should happen in an ideal classroom.”
Participating students writing and performing rhymes rather than papers and GZA’s favorites will then go up on Rap Genius. GZA and Emdin’s project is expected to kick off in January.