Yo! YouTube Raps

Rap videos have changed dramatically, as any teen or old-school icon will tell you

"Gun Draws" is meant to stir up interest in Monch's new album, Desire, due in May—the video seems to have been made with the intent of getting loudly booted off regular TV. (His label, he says, dug the clip and supports it, though not officially, of course. "They knew it would get attention," he explains.) It won't win any acting awards, but if Fab 5 Freddy wants more concept videos, there you have it.

It's unclear what the Master Classes kids are supposed to learn from all this. They'll meet regularly for five months or so, and at the end compile the poetry and songs they write into one video project. After Freddy and Monch's presentations, they read their own poems, with titles like "American Dream" and "Passion Flower," and then discuss images therein that'd make good video footage. Someone wonders whether you can take cameras on subways post-9/11. Freddy muses about how much film school used to cost, and how immediately and cheaply available all the equipment and knowledge are now. If the kids have an abiding interest in cars with rims and chicks wearing not a lot of clothes, they don't mention it now.

Talib Kweli combats the star power of Fab 5 Freddy and Scooby Doo
Jake Price
Talib Kweli combats the star power of Fab 5 Freddy and Scooby Doo

And then the classes all merge again, and it's time to shriek more for Scooby Doo. Freddy doesn't seem too bothered, though. He silences the din briefly and thunders that for every superstar, there are 15 workers in the background—directors, producers, tech experts, worker bees. So learn to do it all. The perils of Southern hip-hop notwithstanding, he doesn't seem too curmudgeonly about the future, so long as there's a certain respect for the past. There are worse things to teach kids than nostalgia.

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