It's not every day that a group of kids in an after-school program makes a music video that gets a million and a half views on YouTube and is deemed “the summer's final truly great jam” by, um, Rolling Stone. Even more unlikely: The video is about snacks. Well, maybe that does make a lot of sense. If you're going to get poetic about anything, hanging out in a playground in a Minneapolis community YMCA, it might be your favorite junk food. Apparently rapping makes you hungry. Especially if you're ten.
If you haven't heard about the song, you need to read Rolling Stone, or listen to NPR or read The Washington Post — or follow Aziz Ansari on Twitter — more often. If you haven't heard the piece, go listen to it now. It will be the first time of many.
The song is the latest performed by Y.N.RichKids, the kids of the Beats and Rhymes after-school and summer program at the Minneapolis North Community YMCA. With some professional help, the kids in the program have put together not just this tune, but eight albums since 2006. The music program, which is which is affiliated with the Nellie Stone Johnson Community School, is a way to use creative expression to address issues of bullying, drugs and violence.
And if that expression takes the form of an ode to junk food instead of more healthful choices, who cares. If you were a kid, would you write a song about quinoa and carrots? Didn't think so. As someone who's given her kid plenty of quarters to get Hot Cheetos out of the gym vending machine herself, I can say that they are kind of inspiring. As for Takis, they're flavored (fajita taco! habanero lime!) rolled tortilla chips. Not bad — and a lot easier to rhyme with than “spaghetti,” at least unless you're Eminem.
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