Brian Mooney, an English teacher at High Tech High School in North Bergen, New Jersey, has been using Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly as a teaching tool for his class to study Toni Morrison's novel The Bluest Eye for a class called "Hip Hop Lit." He wrote a blog post about his lesson plan that was discovered by Kendrick Lamar's camp, and on Monday the rapper actually ended up visiting Mooney's class.
NPR was there to record the inspiring encounter. Kendrick expresses surprise at how his album has resonated with the students, who articulate how this new teaching method has empowered them. Along with Dr. Christopher Edmin's similar endeavours, Mooney's class brings education to hungry minds and prestige to an art form. As Mooney says, it's an illustration of the rewards from expanding high school curriculum beyond the well-trod canons of "old dead white men."