Famous Rapper Visits The High Schoolers That Used His Lyrics To Understand Literature

'When I talk to kids, I’m really listening.'

There's no doubt about it: hip-hop artist and rapper Kendrick Lamar's hard-hitting verses, powerful lyrics and pure talent have landed him well-deserved praise and attention (and two Grammys) all over the world.

On a smaller scale, but perhaps equally as important, Lamar's lyrics helped one teacher from North Bergen, N.J., teach his students important themes and language from Toni Morrison's book, "The Bluest Eye."

Lamar's latest album, 'To Pimp a Butterfly,' features tracks like 'Alright' and 'i.' It's also his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart.

Going deeper, Mic explains that "the album deals with many of the same themes as Morrison's 1970 novel — institutional racism, colorism and mental illness." 

So Brian Mooney, the teacher at High Tech High School "blended close [Lamar] listenings with his lessons, and his students responded immediately, producing essays, pieces of visual and performance art unpacking the connection between the works," Mic writer Tom Barnes adds.

Then, when Lamar caught wind of Mooney and the students, he decided to show up — big time.

"The New York Times" reports that on Monday, Lamar joined Mooney's world literature, hip-hop literature and slam poetry classes for a very personal, collaborative sharing session.

"When I talk to kids, I'm really listening," Lamar told "The New York Times." "When I do that, we have a little bit of a bigger connection than me being Kendrick Lamar and you being a student. It's almost like we're friends. Because a friend listens."

In addition to hearing Lamar freestyle, the students had their turns rapping with the hip-hop star and reading their own poetry, which connected to their lives, Lamar's lyrics and Morrison's literature.

Lamar called the visit "a blessing," and from the looks of it, the event was a hugely inspiring success. It's one we're sure these kids will remember for the rest of their lives.

(H/T: Mic)