This is amazing. They’re called NSJ Crew (for their school, Nellie Stone Johnson Community School), and they are a group of elementary kids with a love a music and serious talent for rhyming. In this incredible, catchy music video for their song “Khaki Pants,” NSJ Crew raps playfully about their school uniforms and invites everyone to “do the khaki dance.” Our only question is, how come no girls did any rapping? Regardless, it’ll be hard to keep yourself from joining in the fun!
NSJ Crew is part of a larger initiative called Beats & Rhymes, which aims to inspire school-age children through the process of creating and recording music. Students have to complete their homework first in order to participate, the intent of which is to promote youth development, career planning, and academic responsibility along with the larger focus on creative expression. The program is currently run through the YMCA in Minneapolis, Minnesota, but their intention is to expand to communities around the country. Click here for more information on how to get involved, and click here for more of their music!
As outlined on their website, some of the specific skills students learn through Beats & Rhymes include:
- Recording techniques
- Studio etiquette
- Music production/engineering
- Pro Tools/ Logic Pro competency
- Stage presence
- Song arrangement
- Writing strategies
- Music industry awareness
- Music games and activities
Pretty inspiring, huh? Initiatives like this hint at the real power music can have as a force of positivity and community growth. These students have an amazing opportunity to explore the world of music-making and express themselves creatively as opposed to just consuming the supposed “youth culture” handed down to kids by big media agencies. So give it up for the youth and for the ageless, eternal spirit of creativity!