In music video, seminarian at Belen Jesuit Prep uses rap to tackle coronavirus, global concerns Favorite 

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Date: 

Apr 6 2020

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Online

WEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A seminarian and faculty member at a South Florida school is taking a creative approach to engaging with students about challenging issues during this time of uncertainty, including the coronavirus pandemic. He made a rap video.

Brother Michael Martinez, who teaches at at Belen Jesuit Prep School in West Miami-Dade, is not a typical hip-hop artist, and the clip he produced and performed in is not just a music video.

But when a man of God is known to some as “the Jesuit rapper,” some assumptions go flying out the window.

Martinez spoke with 7News at length about his latest effort on Sunday.

When asked what compelled him to make the video, he replied, “I took it to prayer, and this is what came out.”

He said the COVID-19 outbreak inspired him to speak out through music.

“As soon as the quarantine came into effect, at least at our school, I felt like there was part of me that wanted to tap into the creative part and kind of put out a message,” he said.

That message is titled “The Wake-Up Call.” Martinez not only wrote the lyrics but also shot and edited the music video himself with an iPhone.

He said his verses were a way to connect to his students, as well as anyone living through this unpredictable and unsettling period.

“Most importantly, it was to reach out to anyone that’s human. That’s what the coronavirus has done. It’s gone beyond a particular country. It’s gone beyond a particular religion or a particular socioeconomic class,” he said. “The message is supposed to be about recognizing our common humanity, and at the end of the day, there are a lot of viruses in our world that we have to face.”

Outside the classroom and church, Brother Michael is passionate rapper. He has been spinning rhythm and rhyme since the third grade, so he knew hip-hop would be the ideal medium to captivate his audience and hopefully ask themselves some tough questions.

“Who are we, and what do we really seek in this life? I think this quarantine has allowed us to stop, has allowed us to really start to ask ourselves, does our world want to continue the path it’s always gone, or is this an opportunity where the world has almost hit the reset button?” he said.

These are questions that he hopes his listeners take time to reflect on before they reach any conclusions.

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3
How does that lead to change? No evidence given

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Effectiveness

How does this project help?

Timeframe For change

To connect with his students as well as "anyone that's human" in order to inspire a common humanity; ask ourselves who we are and what we really seek in life. Overall, it promotes solidarity.

Notes

The video has caught media attention, and the YouTube video currently has 9,266 views as of 4/13/2020. The video also has 38 comments on YouTube, including a great deal of positive feedback, people thanking Brother Michael for this work. Commenters are calling it "inspiring" and "powerful," and many say they are sharing the video with others.