Columbia University professor Christopher Emdin recently met with the star to discuss how to get African-American and Latino students more engaged in the classroom, and together they developed a pilot programme that will use hip-hop to teach science in 10 Big Apple public schools.
Beginning in January (13), Emdin and his graduate students will conduct weekly alternative courses, where pupils will write rhymes instead of papers and even freestyle with their peers about the subject.
Emdin is excited to roll out the idea, telling the New York Times, "A hip-hop cypher is the perfect pedagogical moment, where
someone's at the helm of a conversation, and then one person stops and another picks up. There's equal turns at talking. When somebody has a great line, the whole audience makes a 'whoo', which is positive reinforcement. All of those things that are happening in the hip-hop cypher are what should happen in an ideal classroom."
Gza will conduct random classroom visits and also judge the projects, with the best being submitted and showcased on popular lyrics website Rap Genius.