Rap About Academic Excellence Beasts

6th Graders’ Rap About Academic Excellence Goes Viral

We wish we had this math teacher in grade school.

Terrance Sims may be a new math instructor at Milwaukee Excellence Charter but he’s already everyone’s favorite. He uses hip-hop to inspire his students to keep learning.

“I just started at this school this year, and when I got there, I wanted the kids to know right away that this was my approach to teaching,” Sims told ABC News. “So I wrote an introductory rap at the start of the school year to get them hooked in. The ball got rolling, and they started adding for lyrics. It catapulted to what it is today.”

Sims and his 6th-grade class made a music video called ‘Excellence First!’ with a beat borrowed from Detroit rapper Tee Grizzley. He wrote the first draft of lyrics and the kids quickly added their own. The lyrics riff on the importance of education and why you should be excited to learn.

The video broke the Internet – click play to see why.



“Michelle Obama showed me how to do it. So I’mma get it. Educated, motivated, melanated, elevated. got big shoes to fill, so I’ll do it with class,” one student raps on verse two.

The lead rappers are Aryn Fears and Savannah Patterson, who both have a 3.7+ GPAs. Fears and Patterson hope to become a singer and a lawyer, respectively.

Jada Pinkett Smith and Michelle Obama replied in praise.

“Young Queens – Stay focused,” Michelle Obama commented on the video

There are 240 kids in the school, which Sims says means there are 240 more stories to tell. So, stay tuned for more inspo.

“I think, especially when you look at African-Americans in school, there’s a strong stereotype that they’re not supposed to be successful, but that is so far from the truth,” he told ABC News.


Today we were on “Good Morning America” speaking about the song! ✊🏾🔥‼️#SimsStrong #MXCS

A post shared by Terrance Sims (@simsstrong) on

Feature photo Terrance Sims / Youtube.

Claudette Colvin, Original Woman Who Refused to Give Up Her Seat

Before Rosa Parks sat down, there was Claudette.

Most history books forget that Claudette Colvin is an African-American who refused to give up her seat on the bus, nine months before Rosa Parks.

It was March 2nd, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, when Colvin paid her fare and refused to get up from the seat for a white woman. She’d been studying Black history in high school that month and felt inspired by Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth. She felt the spirit of those two women pushing her down in her seat, telling her not to give it up.

“All I remember is that I was not going to walk off the bus voluntarily,” Colvin told NPR. She was put in handcuffs and taken to the local jail.


Claudette Colvin, age 15.


After the incident, her civil disobedience didn’t make much of a splash. She was young and soon became pregnant. Because of this, her courageous act went all but unnoticed for many years. In fact, people began to think of her as a ‘troublemaker’ within her community and she had difficulty finding employment, and soon moved to New York.

While the court decided she was guilty in her legal case and she was given probation, Colvin did go on to serve as a plaintiff in the historic Browder v. Gayle legal case, which ended the Montgomery Bus Boycott and segregation on public buses in the city.

Many think if it wasn’t for Colvin, the media wouldn’t have paid much attention to Rosa Parks and the movement that followed. For this, we offer her immense gratitude.

If you want to learn the rest of her story, peep her interview with Teen Vogue here. Then go read Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice, authored by Phil Hoose.


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