Rhythm And Physics

Teacher raps for students

February 20, 2015


Photo by: Hala Khan

With the lights turned low, the beat playing, his students silent and his eyes closed, he begins his lyrical poetry. Freestyling about anything and everything, focused only on rhythm and his words, the words flow from him without any pauses or stutters. Even after the music finishes playing, he continues to spit his flow and amaze all who watch and listen.

Physics teacher, Mark Mason, shows his students his rapping skills, a talent he has enjoyed for years.

Mason began rapping during his senior year of high school while driving to school with his friends and listening to old school rappers, primarily Nas. Mason said the old-school styled rappers inspired him and continue to inspire him.

“There’s some talented people out there today but I feel like a lot of it isn’t relatable anymore, so I like more basic rhyming they [old school rappers] had,” he said.

Mason does not rehearse any of his raps for his students, he said he just raps about whatever comes to mind and keeps his raps clean as opposed to the songs heard on the radio today.

I don’t write a lot anymore,” he said. “It’s all pretty much freestyle, because for me it’s more about being in the moment and doing it for my students and trying to keep it relevant.”

Junior Lauren Peters said Mason’s rapping skills remind her of a professional rapper.

‘I think Mason is basically like Eminem,” she said. “He comes up with these great lyrics and they’re always about something that’s important, they’re not irrelevant or stupid.”

Even though he has never performed in competitions or professionally, Mason said he has done some public performances.

“Nowadays it’s mainly my students and they ask me to sometimes and I don’t mind doing that for them but that’s about it,” he said.

After hearing Mason rap in class, Peters said her perspective about him.

“It makes me think that he’s a cooler person than I would’ve thought,” Peters said. ‘It shows me that he’s more than just a teacher, and maybe one day he can put his rap skills to physics and that’ll  help people learn.”

Mason said he enjoys filling up some of his free time by freestyling.

“Ya on my way to work, on my way back home from work, in the car stuck in traffic, I’ll freestyle,” he said. “People will look at me and it just doesn’t matter to me because I’m just going what I enjoy.”

Peters said the environment Mason creates when he raps is her favorite part of the performance.

“The best part is how he turns off the lights, and gets in his zone and everything,” Peters said.

Mastering his skill didn’t take much time, Mason said it came naturally to him.

“It’s just poetry,” he said.

Peters said Mason’s lyrics inspire her.

“It brings out the inner rapper in me when I hear his lyrics,” she said.

With students asking him if he has had any mixtapes, Mason said he has began to consider the idea.

“I am getting a lot of feedback that I should,” he said. “I guess it’s just a matter of getting original beats, trying to get into a studio to go ahead and get that done.”

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