San Francisco school officials spent $50,000 to produce a hip-hop CD “with so much profanity it requires a parental advisory label,” reports the San Francisco Chronicle. And they’re proud of it.
The music and lyrics were created by 12 of the district’s court school kids – students who broke the law and now, on probation and under a judge’s order, attend class in rundown portables on the west side of the city.
Superintendent Carlos Garcia wanted a “transformational” project for students who often don’t bother to show up at school. During the summer, the students worked with poet and hip-hop artist Bryonn Bain, theater director Mei-Ann Teo and record producer Cava Menzies. Local, state and federal funds — including arts grants and Title I money — paid the costs.
“It was difficult to gain their trust and censor them at the same time,” Bain said. “So we opted not to censor them.”
The district hired filmmakers to make a documentary about the project. The CD, “All of Us,” is on sale for $10; students may earn up to $100 from initial sales.
The superintendent wants to replicate the project in other schools at a lower cost. California is broke and funding cuts are expected.