Rapper FRZY visits with Chartiers Valley students
STEPHANIE HACKE | Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017, 4:09 p.m.
They freestyle rapped about pizza, ice cream and dirty socks.
Students at Chartiers Valley High School laughed and listened to high school senior Ryan Vercammen, 17, freestyle rap Oct. 9 with national recording artist Harvey “FRZY” Daniels.
“He definitely showed me up, no doubt about that,” Vercammen laughed after the impromptu battle. “It was fun.”
FRZY, 31, a native of East Liberty who moved to Los Angeles a year ago, visited Chartiers Valley High School teacher Alan Welding’s rhetoric classes to discuss the influence rap music has had in shaping today’s society.
“I hope they learned the difference between success and popularity and understanding that just because something is flashy doesn’t mean that it’s bright, or that it stands out,” he said.
“A lot of them knew who I was and some of them didn’t know who I was and now leaving, just the bars that I spit, got them so excited and got them wanting to be involved.”
FRZY said he hopes the students learned that they have to figure out what course they want to take in life and work for their goals.
“FRZY is really smart. I think it’s the way that he’s handled the issue that education is important, not just in school, but learning about what’s going on in this world. He puts that into his music, but also his vocabulary is ridiculous and that’s why he’s so well-known for freestyle,” Welding said.
Welding met FRZY three years ago at a conference.
The teacher, who runs the blog Pittsburgh Music Magazine, interviewed FRZY for a post on his site. The two became friends and often text about life or what’s going on in the world.
Welding said he hoped his students would learn real-world implementations of what they hear about in class. Next, he plans to bring in speakers from the Wounded Warrior Project to talk to his class.
“You bring in people with these outside influences; I think it’s really good for them to see the real world. That’s a big thing that I talk about in my class: We do real-world applications,” he said.
FRZY had students debate which rapper had the most influence on society. Oftentimes, their views were divided. The students also debated if they should buy a product just because someone famous endorsed it.
“I hope they go home with a better appreciation of hip-hop, a better appreciation of rap, a better appreciation of branding,” FRZY said. “A lot of them learned about new artists today, but also about the power of opinion and the influence that they have as consumers. If an artist tells you to buy something, you don’t have to buy it.”
FRZY, whose album “God King Slave” debuted in 2016, is touring the country, performing with the top DJs in several cities as a part of his “Barbarian project” that he says goes back to the essence of hip-hop.
Jacob Kundra, 18, a senior at Chartiers Valley, has been rapping since he was 13 and goes by the name Jay Caulfield. He said he learned a lot from FRZY. He hopes to someday be signed by a major label.
“I learned a lot about what it takes to do something in music, to actually make something of yourself,” he said. “I think we learned a lot about who’s influential, what makes somebody influential, and we also just learned that rap isn’t just what we hear, there’s so much more to it. It’s like an iceberg. You see everything that’s on top, but there’s so much more.”
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