Students at Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School received a special surprise earlier this month with a visit from Speech, a Grammy-award winning artist, rapper, and producer.
Known as the lead vocalist and founder of legendary hip hop group, Arrested Development, Speech shared messages of love and inspiration as he met with students throughout the school.
“Art is a way that we express our feelings, a way that we get those feelings out,” said Speech. “Hard times, death and poverty are very hard things to deal with and sometimes we need something to just get us through the moment. Art can be that thing and it was for me. When I started rhyming and writing music, it related to not just me but to others, too.”
Speech visited Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School as a mentor for Turnaround Arts, a program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. This initiative works with local program partners to provide intensive arts education resources to the highest-need elementary and middle schools in the country. These resources support schools in improving attendance, parent engagement, student’s motivation, and academic achievement.
Along with words of motivation, Speech performed lyrics from “Tennessee”, one of the Arrested Development’s most popular songs. He was also treated to student performances, as MLK students took the stage to show off their own artistic abilities in the form of song, cheer, and dance.
“There’s so much talent and creative energy at this school,” said Speech. “It is my honor to be here in front of you right now to share my passion with you and to have you share your passion with me. Continue to lift each other up and support each other. We need more that.”