Wyclef Jean’s New Album Starts with a Poetic Indictment of Public Education

"Metal detectors greet us before our teachers do"

You ever notice how schools and learning are portrayed in music? It’s seldom well. Someone needs to analyze that. I’m sure it would be illuminating. I’ve seen discussions of teaching in film, but not music. I was reminded of that need earlier this week listening to Wyclef Jean’s excellent new album called Wyclef Goes Back to School Volume 1.  The Fugees co-founder begins his album with a poem about education at it goes like this:

[Intro: Wyclef Jean] Man this is deja vu
Homeroom, I’m back in school

[Verse: Sejahari Saulter-Villegas] Good morning, class, good morning, class, class
Its mourning time, good, ’cause in many hoods
Where clavicles caress many hoods
Metal detectors greet us before our teachers do
Class, its mourning time, because blood vessels burst more than gushers do
And sweet be the taste of survival, when peace just tastes like denial
What I mean is, every class must begin after twelve
So there won’t be any more mourning, good
God wears a hood in this testament
Heaven be the hood in this testament
The first lesson is: class, you don’t need a cap and gown to walk across the stage
All you need is a mind, a body, a pen, and a page (Page, page)

[Outro: Riley] Ayo, thats all good, but, how much you growin’ the weed?

The whole album is well-worth a stream. Do you know of a memorable portrayal of school in music? I’d love to hear.

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