A few high schools in New York City are starting to push the boundaries of education, and hip-hop is playing a major role. According to a new report from the New York Times, both Mott Haven Community High School and New Visions Charter High School in the Bronx are allowing students to record and write their own music in class to help deal with issues such as anger and grief. This is just the latest instance of hip-hop and education coming together, and if you remember, back in June, Kendrick Lamar visited with a class after a teacher used his To Pimp a Butterfly album as part of a lesson.
The program is called Hip-Hop Therapy and brings kids an alternative way to express their feelings without resorting to violence and fighting. As the above video shows, the students are allowed to express themselves in a way that they can relate to better than the more traditional ways of education. "When I leave my feelings inside, the only way you’re going to hear it is if I throw a punch,” Ellis McBeth, a student at New Visions, said. "Now I make songs about them. I write verses that cool me down."
Another student, Jason Alcequiez, said that the hip-hop therapy classes have helped him deal with some serious family issues. "I’m not one of those people who would get sentimental about my feelings and talk about my feelings," Alcequiez said. "I’d rather write it out in music." The programs are already seeing success, as Mott Haven now has a full after-school class that brings in 20 students on a regular basis. You can read the full New York Times story here.