"...a candidate for this year's most unlikely benefit record"
— New York Times
Since 2004, in New Orleans public schools, local journalist, author and musician Michael Patrick Welch has pioneered a "writing class disguised as a music class." With an aim toward improving their literacy, the children are guided in the writing of song lyrics, over beats they program themselves. For the last six years, in roughly a dozen different New Orleans public schools, Mr. Michael and his students have recorded more than 70 songs. "YA! Young Audiences Raps!" the kids' first official album, contains the 45 best minutes (so far).
Mr. Michael's Class also teaches the kids to think critically and objectively in order to write reviews of local musician's albums. These hilariously critical reviews have been published in local magazines Gambit Weekly, OffBeat and AntiGravity (all of whom paid the kids for their work), and can be read on the kids' myspace page.
But the songs are the real unforgettable jewels: from the evocative, food-themed "U Look Hungry," to the hurricane Katrina anthem, "When I Came Home," to the uplifting brother/sister tune, "A Tale of Two Syblings," to the downright odd, "We Rockin Jewish," the album "YA! Young Audiences Raps!" is truly fun for your whole family of rap fans.