This week, a Youtube video titled Excellence First went viral, much to our delight!
The video is the creation of Milwaukee College Preparatory School math teacher Terrance Sims and features to sixth-grade Black girls (Aryn and Savannah) rapping over Detroit rapper Tee Grizzley‘s “First Day Out” instrumental.
The original track was about Tee Grizzley’s first day of release after spending three years behind bars. Sims and his students flipped the track, to create an educational, uplifting, melanin-fulled anthem for young, Black students across the globe as they rap,
“Michelle Obama taught me how to do it, so Imma get it/ Educated, elevated, melanated, motivated/ Got big shoes to fill but Imma do it with class … ”
In an interview with Complex, Sims explains how Excellence First came together:
“I wanted to be able to get my students excited about being in my classroom this year. I looked at it as more of a first day of school welcome, and the kids really latched on to the song, and started adding different parts. So, it was really a small thing, and the ball just kept rolling, and we just kept adding to it. Literally, one day we finished a lesson early, and I wanted the kids to go up and do the parts, and Aryn was one of the ones who went up, and the way she spit it was so cold I was like, “We have to get this recorded.”
He also lets us all know that there is more to come, stating:
“Also, “Excellence First!” is just the kick-off. We will be doing this for the whole year. We’ll be throwing it back to some old-school Outkast to new stuff. We will be all over the place.”