MCC and AmeriCorps VISTA Brought Hip-Hop to Nathan Hale Magnet

Jul 23, 2012

A unique program at Omaha's Nathan Hale Magnet Middle School earlier this year taught students the five pillars of hip-hop.

Metropolitan Community College partnered with the AmeriCorps VISTA program to implement a hip-hop curriculum.  Jason Rodriguez of the VISTA program taught the hip-hop curriculum. 

He says the classes gave students something to relate to while stressing the importance of education.  Rodriguez says the curriculum covered the five pillars of hip hop, including dj'ing and emceeing, one of the students’ favorites.

"Elements of rapping, if you want to be a rapper, what are you going to rap about?  We talked about Tupac Shakur.  He was able to rap about so many different things because he read a lot of books.  And that was the whole point of that project, them seeing that if you want to be a rapper, you have to read a lot of books.  No one is going to want to listen to what you have to say if you don’t have anything to speak on."

B’boying, graffiti and beat boxing were the other three pillars of the program.  The project culminated with the painting of a graffiti mural on the wall of a music classroom at Nathan Hale Magnet Middle School focused on the five pillars of hip-hop. 

More information on the VISTA program is available here