A Tribe Called Quest Helps You Find Your Legacy
Trill or Not Trill?
When it was announced that A Tribe Called Quest would be dropping a new album, I was officially open. I’m showing my age but Low End Theory was the first cassette tape I ever popped from excessive rewinding and playing. After the untimely and heartbreaking loss of Phife Dawg, some of my students were introduced to the greatness of hip hop legends. When I think of the term legacy, ATCQ certainly comes to mind and this final album, so many of us were waiting for met that mark. Below are just a few example of how this new album, We got it from Here… Thank you for your Service and the lyrics within can inspire and empower.
We the People
We the educators need to stand up now more than ever. The people need voices of progress and reason more than ever. As a higher ed pro or teacher you likely didn’t get into this business for the millions of dollars it brings to table. When people say they work 9 to 5, you know that isn’t in reference to you. This is the work of the people. Work with all the trans, black, immigrant, gay, Latinx, white, poor, Muslim, women, Christian, and other folks you can find! Find your Tribe! Your students need to hear from you. You owe it to them and the community around you to learn about their cultures, characteristics and way of life. Take that extra time to learn about the masses. It can never be solely about the individual. To truly achieve next level greatness, we the people has to be a phrase often used and thought about.
Whateva Will be
Did you not get a raise you were promised? Your co workers not stepping up? The club you advise, slipping through the cracks? Was that program submission to NASPA rejected?
Whatever will be, will certainly be. The key is your actions after that “be” moment. You can’t control what happens in certain circumstances but you can dictate your reactions and movement afterwards. Consequence raps, “I just wanna feel as liberated as lions in Liberia/’Cause recently my heart turned cold as Siberia/’Cause everywhere I go, bein’ cold is the criteria. There will plenty of occasions where everything seems cold. You’ll be locked spaces filled with depression and pessimism. Like Consequence says he wants to feel liberated. Gain true liberation by always seeking solutions. We’ll see losses regularly but that’s fine because whateva will be but there’s more to the show afterwards.
Solid Wall of Sound
We’ve heard all this talk about walls being built. I prefer bridges but if wall is up or on it’s way up, make it’s one filled with sound. On college campuses walls are often built between academic affairs and student affairs. Walls are up between deans and VPs. Walls go up between office mates or you and students. If that barrier stands, take the initiative to create sounds of peace and collaboration. Effective sound will reverberate and shake anything in its way. Communication is the key to overcoming many an obstacle.
Q Tip and Elton John close out by saying
Sound checking, a million watts are shaking the room/In just a few hours you’re gonna feel the burn/All of the goons are checking their guns at the door.
The right type of sound will change mentalities make you feel amazing.
If you don’t understand this generation and not trying to comprehend them, then you’re doing a bad job as an educator. We’re talking Millennials and Generation Z. Get to know traits, learning methods, cultural interests and more. To effectively reach out students we must not overlook generations. We can’t constantly criticize and look at them as being voiceless. As you teach them make sure to be learning as well. When Q Tip says,Talk to Joey, Earl, Kendrick, and Cole, gatekeepers of flow/They are extensions of instinctual soul, it’s a recognition that there are young people today doing the work right now. Don’t fret, instead find the beauty of the present voices makes positive noise.
Embrace and bring the innocence of kids into the seriousness of yourday to day.
The imagination of kids is often limitless. Bring that type of imagination into your programs, your courses and educational ideas.
Additionally remember our students are young and some may be immature but they aren’t kids. Expect more out of them and push them to reach new heights.
It’s time to disrupt education. The traditional messages and stories have to end here. Innovate and stop settling for the status quo that’s defined your role for decades or longer. If you consider yourself an educator then by default you’re a change agent. In the face of stagnant sensibilities which direction will you travel? If you’re afraid to travel to places unknown, where are you really going?When is enough, enough?
Listen, we can’t save everyone. We can’t keep arguing our points with everybody. Not everyone is meant to be changed, but the work must not stop at any cost. Trust the fact that there’s a group that will be inspired by you no matter what. Some will appreciate you but won’t require your services to succeed. There a few that
This one is simple.
Stop MOVING BACKWARDS. This one doesn’t require any long explanation. You know what backwards looks like. Now cut it out!
MrJeffDess is a writer, professor, public speaker and emcee of Haitian descent. He is an author of 5 books of poetry, including his latest, Trill Motivation With over ten years of performing and student affairs experience under his belt MrJeffDess continues to strive towards helping students reach their highest potential. For booking information, contact MrJeffDess at firstname.lastname@example.org