FLOTUS Michelle Obama & SNL’s Jay Pharoah Star in a Rap Video about Going to College

FLOTUS Michelle Obama & SNL’s Jay Pharoah star in a rap video about going to college.

Elizabeth Hoyt

December 10, 2015

FLOTUS Michelle Obama & SNL’s Jay Pharoah Star in a Rap Video about Going to College

Is there anything that FLOTUS Michelle Obama isn’t good at? The First Lady wants to encourage students to go to college so much that she created a rap video with Saturday Night Live’s Jay Pharoah about why you students should go to college, supporting her “Better Make Room” campaign.

The campaign encourages young American students to commit to better lives by adopting higher education goals. The timing of the video is just in time for students to meet upcoming college application deadlines – hopefully giving students an extra boost of motivation to submit their college applications.

First Lady Michelle Obama and SNL’s Jay Pharoah collaborated with College Humor and The Gregory Brothers to create a College Humor original rap video that highlights the reasons why going to college is the key to a brighter future for students. With an amped-up intentional cheese factor, the two-minute video takes a serious subject and alleviates the stress surrounding higher education issues, likely in hopes to get students to relate to the issue and consider their college path from a different viewpoint.

The video begins with two students playing out a scenario debating what to do after graduating from high school, with one student answering his plans after college are “just hanging out, I guess.” Pharoah jumps on the screen and eases into the song, rapping the first verse.

The lyrics are fun and light, complete with a Star Wars reference:

[VERSE 1]
It’s your choice, so voice it
Whole world your oyster
Can’t be droppin’ the ball
When your future’s nothing to toy with
Telescope and stay focused
Make a mark and get noticed?
Get the degree thermostat
Help me out, FLOTUS!”

The chorus begins and Obama appears clad in a brunch-worthy dress, donning sunglasses with Pharoah as they rap the song’s hook together.

[HOOK]
If you wanna fly jets
You should go to college
Reach high and cash checks
Fill your head with knowledge
If you wanna watch paint
Don’t go to college
But for everything else
You should go to college

Pharoah takes over the next verse.

[VERSE 2]
You could study engineering
They be buildin’ robots
Build bridges, commute
You can get your walk on
Be a math major
Hop a moon crater
Be an astronaut
Be up in the sky like Vader
Finance isn’t science
But you still need a degree
Archaeology, astronomy
But not astrology
NO. NO. NO.

A robotic-voice then says, “FLOTUS on the track” and the First Lady starts rapping on her own, taking experiences from her personal college story as lyrical inspiration.

[VERSE 3]
South side Chicago
We all know
We had to do overtime every night
To make it tomorrow
And everyone could really make
Their dream true
Hey, kid listenin’ in Michigan
That could be YOU

Pharoah starts up again with the next verse.

[VERSE 4]
But a dream is just a dream
Unless you go hard
Einstein put in the time
Here’s a flow chart
Naturally, it won’t happen magically
But you can change fantasy into
Reality so dramatically

It’s pretty clear they’re in different spots in The White House (or a spot to look like it) in the video, which adds to the awesomely-nonsensical aspects of the song and nods to the fact that the First Lady is rapping in a video.

The chorus continues as FLOTUS and Pharoah spout lyrics together.

[HOOK]
Wanna Fight Crime
You should go to college
If you wanna write rhymes
Fill your head with knowledge
If you wanna stare at grass
Don’t go to college
But for everything else
You should go to college

via GIPHY

As the video ends, Pharoah mentions “Better Make Room” while a plane with a “Better Make Room” banner trailing in the air flies across the screen. “We’re coming, we’re applying. That paper is NOT getting thrown in the garbage! Go to college!”

The video wraps up with Pharoah reiterating the message in his own humorous way in a split screen next to a header reading, “YOU SHOULD GO TO COLLEGE,” with the “Better Make Room” campaign information and web site listed underneath.

Whether you’re seriously impressed or seriously eye-rolling the video doesn’t matter. Consider: if it gets one student to think about attending college who wouldn’t have otherwise, isn’t that worth the effort? We think so, and we’re willing to bet that FLOTUS would agree.

Learn more about the First Lady’s “Better Make Room” campaign on the “Better Make Room” campaign site, where you can also gain motivation to meet your higher education goals and, in turn, motivate other students to do so as well.

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