As popular rap topics go, education's pretty far down the list.
Way, way below money, women who enjoy dancing, and custom cars; probably a couple notches below breakfast pastries, and a couple above tax increment financing.
Think about Kanye West, whose whole career started with a series of albums about how he didn't want to go to college.
Here in Minneapolis, a rap video recently shot at a public high school became controversial due to its provocative take on school-friendly material.
None of this is going to deter the state's Office of Higher Education, which is trying to appeal to a particular type of potential college student with its "Summer Nudging" program. Summer Nudging, which is meant to encourage an estimated 20 percent of prospective college students who enroll, but never show up for college.
The officer of higher ed's solution is to get kids on their own terms: With text messages and hot music. The former means weekly text messages -- "nudges," the agency calls them -- to encourage youths to stick with it; the latter means this rap video below.
(The "nudge" concept was popularized by the Harvard constitutional scholar Cass Sunstein. Mr. Sunstein's hip-hop album about consumer decisions in the individual health insurance market is due out in March.)
Filmed on the University of Minnesota campus (over the course of a single afternoon, tops) the song features references to financial aid, applications transcripts, and "counseling resources." On the Source magazine rating scale, we're going to say "Five Mics" for the positive messages, and... slightly fewer for the beats and lyrics.
Considering this came out of the state's higher ed agency, it's pretty solid.
Anyone got anything better at the Minnesota Department of Human Services? Agriculture department, you got beats fresher than this?
Didn't think so.
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