August 9, 2007

Book Review: Self-Esteem Raps

Rap to Live By: Positive Rap for Kids on Love, Friendship, Self-Esteem, School, Money, Sex and much more... by Don Roberts (Hampton Roads Publishing, 1993, ISBN 1-878901-55-9)

This book was written by: Don Roberts, a TV News anchorman for WAVY-TV. When he "noticed his older daughter memorizing some intricate and questionable lyrics," he knew "something had to be done" (p.9). In response, he wrote "uplifting, positive raps that adults can use to teach their children" (back cover). "The trick," says Roberts, "was coming up with topics, writing them up in rap form that's easily adaptable to a jammin' beat, then performing them at the appropriate time."(p.9) The message of his book is that "all kids are reachable if we simply try harder to speak their language" (p.10)

What is in this book: Lyrics. Some titles include:

Love Myself (rap-a-long for elementary) (p.28)

Love Myself (rap-a-long for middle & high school) (p.29)

Fringies (Fringe benefits- reasons and rewards for not using drugs) (p.49)

Black, White, Other? (Thoughts about my brother's marriage to a German woman- shared with an organization of interracial couples and families) (p.95)

What is not in this book? Phat beats. Not that this calls into question the relative tightness of the lyrics, it merely points out that you will have to provide your own jammin' beats.

Would you recommend this book to middle-class white suburbanite youths who spend their parents' fortunes on FUBU gear and bling? Certainly. It is the number one demographic in desperate need of important lessons on respecting themselves and others.

Would you recommend this book to schoolteachers trying to reach out and make a difference in the lives of their charges? Sure, as long as they're not caught reading it.

What was interesting about this book? The topics Mr. Roberts has chosen, as well as his rhyme scheme. Here is a brief sample from his work, 10 (p. 48):

Here are 10 reasons why
You should be a drug dealer!
Crimeline will pay me big bucks when I squeal-a on you!


The population-
In prison-like old dealers Jake and Earl?
They'll make space for you cause you'll be their girl.

And in my world-
When I write about the good news that's "class"...
I'll love reporting how the neighbors kicked your ---.

Digg this Stumble Upon Toolbar

No comments:

Read more reviews...