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'Smart Songs' use rap to make learning fun

November 18, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
From "Schoolhouse Rock" to "schoolhouse rap," what two up-and-coming music stars sing about sets them apart.

"Schoolhouse Rock" entertained and educated a generation of kids who sat in front of the TV with a big bowl of sugary cereal every Saturday morning.

For today's generation of kids, there's something new to watch: You might call it "schoolhouse rap."

The two young men behind this new hip-hop endeavor call their music "Smart Songs."

Jeff DuJardin and Scott Geer, who go by "Shoeless Jeff" and "Scott Free," are using hip-hop to "hip up" students' knowledge of social studies.

"We want it to be authentic-sounding because, at the end of the day, if we don't like it as fans of hip-hop, then how can we expect kids to buy into it?" said Geer.

Geer and DuJardin write all their own lyrics for their "Smart Songs" and use only original music.

They rap about voting, political parties, the flag, even the Bill of Rights.

"We actually read the exact Bill of Rights and we translated it into a rap," said DuJardin. "And so, basically, our Bill of Rights song is a pocket version of the Bill of Rights.

"We want them to become inspired by what they hear so they'll go off and they'll research the Bill of Rights," said DuJardin. "They'll look up what it means to be in a political party. And they'll be inspired to learn on their own."

The guys, and a guest performer, were recently hard at work on their latest music video aimed at explaining the three branches of government.

"We have videos on YouTube and so many teachers are writing in to us, so many kids, and saying, 'I got an 'A' on my project because I watched your video. ' And so we know that it works," said DuJardin.

They do two songs to teach you a little something about all 50 states.

"We border trying to be cool but also not taking ourselves too seriously either," said Geer.

The guys are spending their own money to get this music out there. And they're not just singing about social studies. Business is also on their playlist.

"We want to spread it across the country and we believe in it because we're not here to make money," said DuJardin. "We're here to bring about a positive change in the world and to make kids excited about learning."


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