Lil Wayne is a Grammy Award winning rap artist. Some call him a lyrical genius, while others call him a thug. Some say his music speaks to the heart while others say his music is nothing more than trash that glorifies the horrific treatment of women, drugs, etc. It really all depends on your take of the man. Knowing the controversy however, would you use him as a homework assignment?
It seems one Florida teacher felt it would be okay to do just that. The teacher decided to use Wayne’s lyrics for a homework assignment. Trying to connect with the children on your classroom with Lil Wayne may not be the best of ideas honestly. What do I know though, I don’t have a certificate that says I’m a teacher in the Florida state school system.
So here’s the skinny, the teacher thought that it would be genius to help his eighth grade class at The Charter Schools of Boynton Beach in South Florida with literature. Apparently he could not connect to them through old school stuff like Shakespeare, so the next best guy must have been Wayne right? The teacher was suspended for 3 days for this, and most feel it was right. Even Wayne claims that the teacher should not have used the lyrics as part of his homework assignment.
Wayne told the ESPN First Take Crew regarding the teacher and assignment:
I’d never be embarrassed by anything I say because I say it and I mean it. But I don’t think that kids – I mean, I don’t think that you should be trying to teach it in any way to kids because I don’t record it and say it for kids to listen to it, but they will hear it.”
Basically what Wayne was saying here was, the music is for the older audience. While the music will be listened to by kids, it’s not intended to be heard by them. As a result, it obviously should not be used for an Eighth Grade homework assignment.
Wayne went on to say:
“But it’s a difference between hearing and listening. You know? So, not that it’s OK for them to hear it, but if they hear it, then so be it. They hear it. But when you’re trying to teach them to listen to it, that’s a difference and I don’t try to teach them that.”
So Wayne is saying here that his music should certainly not be an assignment. He’d want them to choose to listen to it maybe, but to be told they had to for an assignment, especially knowing the lyrics are not G-Rated is wrong. Wayne is not some moron who just overlooks what he says. He knows what his audience is and he knows who and who should not be listening to his work. Kids are not his target audience, so he does not really want them to listen. This is not kid-friendly music.
So what was the teacher’s excuse in all of this?
Wayne Owens, then school’s headmaster, claims that the students had been introduced to works from Shakespeare and Edgar Allen Poe. The issue was that they struggled to get the concepts of the literature. So the teacher in a somewhat smart way tried to relate the material to today’s lyrical styles. The problem is, the lyrics he used were far from G or PG for that matter. Even if everyone listened to Wayne in the classroom, the music still should not have been an assignment for homework.
The lyrics used are hardly lyrical works of art as well. The song used had lyrics such as:
“Excuse my charisma, vodka with a spritzer/ Swagger down pat, call my s** Patricia,” is the very first line in the song before he later raps, “Got the girl twisted ’cause she open when you twist her/ never met the b**** but I f*** her like I missed her.”
At the end of the day, the assignment was beyond dumb to do. Lil Wayne knows this himself, and he’s not shying away from it either. That should be respected if nothing else.