Rapping Atlanta students making new song for Obama

By: AP
By: AP

ATLANTA (AP) -- The singing, dancing Atlanta students who scored a viral video hit with their catchy debate rap during the election hope to capture President-elect Barack Obama's attention with a new tune.

The seventh-graders at Ron Clark Academy - a private school in one of the city's poorest neighborhoods - are working on a new song detailing what they want to see happen under Obama's administration.

"I hope he really hears it and he listens to what we're saying," said 12-year-old Osei Avril. "Our greatest hope is to be invited to the inauguration. I hope he hears it and appreciates it."

The YouTube video of the students' previous rap, "Vote However U Like," was passed around by e-mail, blogs and social networking sites in the weeks leading up to the Nov. 4 election and led to performances on several national TV shows.

"Obama on the left, McCain on the right," the students sang as they danced side-to-side in unison. "We can talk politics all night, and you can vote however you like."

The song, based on rapper T.I.'s "Whatever U Like," even drew the attention of the Atlanta artist, who paid a surprise visit to the school in October.

On a recent afternoon, students in a global politics class practiced the hook of their new rap, calling for "a better tomorrow" with free health care for children and an end to the war in Iraq.

"We got hope, hope there will be no sorrow," the students rap to a beat they wrote themselves. "We got hope, hope for a change today. Hold your head up high, 'cause Obama's gonna lead the way."

To get ideas for the song, students debated about Obama's economic and health care proposals, talking confidently about deregulation of corporations and 90-day moratoriums on foreclosures.

"You might have the power to actually convince the president of something," school founder and teacher Ron Clark encouraged the class.

Clark, who taught in one of New York City's toughest schools and wrote the best-selling teaching book "The Essential 55," opened the school last year with proceeds from his book and private donations.

Most of its 80 students are from middle- and low-income households. Parents pay a small part of the $14,000 annual tuition and the rest is paid by donors.

---

On the Net:

Ron Clark Academy: http://www.ronclarkacademy.com/

© 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy.


631 SW Commerce Pl. Topeka, Kansas 66615 phone: 785-272-6397 fax: 785-272-1363 email: feedback@wibw.com
Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 35165959 - wibw.com/a?a=35165959
Gray Television, Inc.