This week was highlighted by Flobots' emcee, Stephen Brackett, in the classroom at Devereux. Stephen was able to lend his wisdom to the conversation we are currently having with the students regarding positive lyricism. Using Dead Prez, a long time contributor to the "conscious" lyricism dialogue in hip hop, as a launching point for discussion, we talked about the effects of conscious lyrics and its place in our society as force for positive change. The students were very responsive and enjoyed having such an authority in the classroom. Youth On Record would like to extend our gratitude to Stephen for his efforts and his continued contributions in the field of socially conscious self expression.
The lecture was followed by a performance from Stephen and then Youth On Record's first classroom cipher, or freestyle circle. Almost all the kids participated demonstrating courage and skill, and although there were a variety of levels of participation, we were encouraged, again, by the student's willingness to try something new, especially in front of someone with such notoriety as Stephen Brackett. This is another step forward in each of the student's development.
Classes at Shiloh and Savio House went well also, and although there were times when it took some effort on our part to encourage the students to write lyrics, most of them did so and were rewarded for their efforts in the sense, of again, doing something new and outside of their comfort zone. Above is a picture taken from the bathroom of one of our favorite local organic restaurants. We are constantly reinforcing to our students that production is about taking in all of one's environment, seeing it as art, and, if one chooses, incorporating it into one's own personal artistic vision. Art is everywhere, if one is open to it, and by looking at the potential of one's environment for inspiration, even if in unlikely places, everyday experiences can be greatly enriched.
More of the student's music on the way next week!!!