Young New Rap Stars Emerge at Lewis School




Boys at Lewis School, Pengam have been following in the steps of rap stars like Eminem, 2Pac and Jay-Z in a series of creative rap-writing workshops. Together with poet and writer Patrick Jones, brother of Manic Street Preacher’s Nicky Wire, and bilingual rapper Rufus Mufasa, two groups of students aged 13-16 worked on creating their own lyrics and songs. The finished pieces were then performed, put to music and made into CDs, which were played at a presentation ceremony at Lewis School  to congratulate the students on their achievements.

The rap workshops were organised by Caerphilly Arts Development and Literature Wales’ South Wales Literature Development Initiative, and participants were selected after being identified as ‘being at risk of exclusion’ by the school. Some had a school attendance record as low as 15%, and a history of challenging behaviour in the classroom. Writing lyrics and rapping can be a way for young people to express themselves and their attitude to life in a creative way, and both authors were delighted with the outcome of the project.

Patrick Jones said: “I think we have proved how creativity and freedom of expression can enhance a pupil’s learning experience. Some pupils who have been reluctant to put pen to paper have written honestly about their lives. It has been a thrilling and challenging journey.”

Performance poet Rufus Mufasa said: “It has been an absolute pleasure working with the groups and their creativity with poetry and lyrical skills has given them a new found passion for language and literature. They created such powerful and inspirational pieces of work in such a short space of time. I’d love to support the boys in future projects as the possibilities are endless in their ability to create powerful pieces that will inspire their peers and community.”