Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Five: Appropriate rap/hip-hop songs

It's been awhile since I've made a Friday Five post. In the past, I've written about MadLibs, art therapy, techniques for singing country songs, and songs for positive thinking. You can find all the other posts by clicking on the "Friday five" keyword on the right sidebar of this page.

Today I bring you five songs that will win over most middle and high schoolers. They are all appropriate rap/hip-hop songs. These days, that is difficult to find.

1) Kick, Push (2006), Lupe Fiasco.
2) Kiss Kiss (2007), Chris brown.
3) You Make Me Better (2007), Fabolous.
4) Whip My Hair (2010), Willow Smith. Sung by Will Smith's daughter!
5) Good Morning (2009), Chamillionaire. I love this one especially because it samples the famous "Free Fallin" melody from Tom Petty.

For more, check out this link at Yahoo Answers.


  1. I thought it was so great to post some suggestions for appropriate rap selections, but I was wondering what type of setting you use this for because I looked up the lyrics and was questioning the words and content in almost each one. I am interning in a public school and would not use these selections without some edits. Just a thought...

  2. You're absolutely right, you have to be very careful where you use this. Not all of these are appropriate for public schools and you may get in trouble with parents/employers if you don't use with caution.

    I was working with a secondary school when I came up with this list... the kids at this school are very used to the "hard life" and are in and out of jail, without families, selling drugs etc. In many cases, it is useful to use the music that they are accustomed to in order to get them to open up and get to the therapeutic process.

    Other places this might be useful are in a psychiatric settings, prisons, or with juvenile detention centers, runaway homes, etc. Some of these songs are amazing for lyric analysis if you are working with kids that can relate to its message. Otherwise, I would stay away it.

    That said, if you have more ideas for this genre for use in public schools, I would love to hear about it! Thank you very much for your comment. Best of luck with the internship.

  3. A group called the Figureheads based in Wisconsin is great for students at any level - elem, middle and high.

  4. I too have been looking for rap to use in a lesson for middle schoolers. Believe me, the kids for the most part don't mind swearing but the administration has to support only the cleanest lyrics because there is no room to have even one parent complain and file a lawsuit or try to get a teacher written up, fired etc. An edited "clean" version is also not acceptable as the kids still can tell what is going in the bleeped spot. I was looking at another site for suggestions and some posters even thought the words nigga or bitch were appropriate because of the way they were used. This is not appropriate in public school setting. Even songs with no swearing but content that is overly laden with drug, violence and sexual and mysogonist lyrics can not be used. That is what makes this so difficult. Thanks to everyone on the suggestions!

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