My kids like to trash talk. So do I. Many of my dialogues with my students in the hallways go like this:
Student: Yo, you’re trash at ball…
Me: Yo, I’m smarter than you…
You know, stuff like that. The only way that I’m going get them interested is if I can get them to feel the need to respond to me. Plus, I AM smarter than them; that’s why I am teaching them.
So if I’m going to write a rap that’s worthy for my students to respond, I needed to follow the Rap Commandments that I had developed:
10 Rap Commandments
- No one is better than you. #Fact.
- When starting out, sample popular beats. If it’s good enough for Drake, it’s good enough for you.
- Address everyone as haters and rivals unless they are on your TEAM. Then they’re Fam.
- You came from the bottom. This industry is only for those who struggled and hustled (working hard/doing anything) against the established system and authority in order to get where they are. The more illegal, the better.
- Hype yourself up by using metaphors, similes, and hyperboles. It’s quantity OVER quality on this one…
- Act and speak like you don’t give a “feck”. In fact, say that you don’t “Give. A. FECK.” just so there’s no confusion.
- Briefly allude to at least one physical altercation to establish your toughness.
- You are so attractive to the opposite sex that you don’t understand rejection… which, actually, is not good.
- Money, Money, Money. No money = No credit. Specifically reference BEN FRANKLIN in any and all songs… in order to directly correlate yourself with economic success. (#BOSS)
- When in doubt, drop another F-bomb for MOTHERFECUND emphasis.
With my trusty format, I went about crafting my masterpiece. I chose to use Jay-Z’s “Moment of Clarity”. Immediately in the verse, I identified the conflict as being the cliché “Old School vs. New School” debate. As antagonist, I argued that “new rap” is lazy and shitty. In order to establish my credentials, I addressed a conversation that I had partaken in with Jay-Z. He gave me his blessing to educate the youth with his raps. (#truth) Oh yea! And I incorporated the 20 vocabulary words as well…
Oh, I didn’t reference money in my rap (Commandment #9…). Instead, I finally revealed myself to be Ben Franklin…
I was ready to break the world. The morning of the presentation, I woke up at 4:45 AM; I completed my 30 minutes of reading; And I dressed in my best “Teacher” outfit. As I began the 30 minute walk to school, I popped on my headphones and zoned out to the bass of “Rick Ross” Pandora…
Yea, Rick Ross… Get over it.
With my masterpiece written, I quickly rushed to school. I totally forgot to have a visual presentation for them to read as I rapped! I powered through 30 minutes to create a Power Point slide show. The formula was simple:
- Place 2-4 lines of lyrics on a slide
- Take a “selfie”
- Email the “selfie” to myself
- Attach the “selfie” to the slide.
Now I was completely prepared. I was ready to deliver my firing shots… and reveal myself to the world.
So here’s the first rap in my autobiographical mixtape…
“Moment of Clarity” Lyrics
Rap is LAME, that’s what people have been saying
DECADENT rappers only wanna make it rain and
Talking bout the bling and LURID things, it’s JADED
SIMULATING lifestyles of the rich and famous
But their words are weak, they better get strong
Every other word I hear is just another F-bomb
It’s so lazy! So I prayed to Jay-Z
Like: Dear Hov I wonder can you save me,
He said, “nah just INTERCEDE, for me
ASSUAGE this situation with a dictionary,
Scare em with your stock of vocabulary
This structured struggle needs moments of clarity,”
So that’s my PREROGATIVE, to EXPOSTULATE
Y’all to save the genre before its too late
So no more INNUENDOS, its time for some straight talk
Dop all the UMBRAGE, don’t be a PROVINCIAL
I taught 50 how to stunt, Meek to be a boss
So sophisticated, I made Rick Ross say “HUH”?
I taught Miley how to twerk!
Such a teacher, I taught Harry Potter how to curse!
Pick the location, I’ll break you down to basics
MERITORIOUS for being so gloriously creative
And I’m back now after my HIATUS
I’m Ben Franklin TRANSCENDING generations
I’m amazing, nothing more to say kid
Switching criticisms into APPROBATIONS
I’m a pro, yo, and now your on probation
Prove that you’re a rapper! Quick! Time’s a-wasting!
Please, nothing lyrically HACKNEYED
Put a COALITION of them words to this beat
I’ll ELICIT all your creativity
With an UNCTUOUS look, I’ll pretend to be beat…