Liberty University is a private Christian University located in Lynchburg, Virginia. It is the largest evangelical school in the world and has around 60,000 students in enrollment and offers 60 different academic programs. However, lately the buzz on the LU campus has been about something that normally does not get recognition: that is because the campus is buzzing about Jason Lewis, also known as Humble Tip, a rapper currently enrolled at Liberty University. Lewis is a Christian rap artist who talks about things like character, morals and rules, but is also able to do these things with style, class and what he calls, “swag.”
To start we are going to talk about the “LU Anthem,” and Humble Tip. So what Humble Tip is trying to do with his song is put Liberty University on the map, by rapping, but what he is talking about is how they are structured, they do things with intelligence and class, and in the end this type of lifestyle will help you succeed. In the first verse this is the message that Humble Tip is trying to portray to other students and the alumni of Liberty University. He says, “Now we’re the biggest Christian University on the planet/We don’t take it for granted, humble is our rhetoric/Academics are a must, so we are accredited/We got some rules and regulations, it aint nothing too tough/Understand, discipline builds integrity in us/Yeah we have a curfew, no it will not hurt you/You call it rules, we call it structure, holiness we pursue/.” To me I think it is a cool spin on a subject that normally gets bad credibility. What Humble Tip is trying to say through his rap is something that most people don’t hear when it comes to rap: No cussing, motivation and through hard work you will succeed. This is something that is not only different to the rap scene, but also very different to the world that is an evangelical school.
Since we are talking about the world’s largest evangelical school, some people might think that having LU’s anthem as a rap song can be detrimental to people associated to the school and the University itself. In the diversity package presented in the wdbj7 the reporter did not talk about how the actions by Jason Lewis could be a bad thing for students and the University. Throughout the video there are a lot of students talking about how they like to listen to the song and how Humble Tip is becoming more popular on campus and around the community, but she fails to present the other side of the argument. The reporter also used a lot of stereotypes with Christian religion in her package and she seemed to be very opinionated and many times as I was watching the package I would ask myself, says who? I also thought the reporter could have presented the other side of the argument in a more compelling way. She started the package off well with good shots and an interesting story, but she never interviewed anyone who didn’t like Humble Tip or interview anyone who didn’t like the song as an anthem for the University or the fact that the largest evangelical school in the world has a rapper as the face of the University. This type of face as the University can cause controversy, especially on a small campus, because many people are going to want to have structure and tradition when it comes to student behavior and student conduct. It is ironic that Humble Tip talks about these things in his rap song, but I think these are the same things that can cause controversy within the alumni, the faculty and the staff. I think the anthem for the University can be a two edge sword. For one thing I think the song is working for the student body. It is something that gets students excited, it talks about positive things and it puts Liberty University on the map to other people around the country who have not heard of LU before. On the other hand I think the anthem for LU can be a negative thing. I have a feeling that within the community in Lynchburg, Virginia and the alumni of the school that the song and having a rapper on campus is something that will agitate them. I would look for them to change their anthem to something they consider to be more appropriate in the near future.
If I was in Virginia I would tell the story in a similar way. I like how the story started and the way it was produced and shot, but there are a couple of things that I would like to add to the story. I would present the other side of the story and talk to people who didn’t like the song or does not like the rapper Humble Tip. I think this would give more credibility to the story and to me as a reporter. Also I would like to talk to a lot more people to make the story more official. I think an interview with an alum would be a huge part to the story, also an interview with somebody in the local community of Lynchburg. I think one of the most important people to talk with is someone the President of the University. If I could not set this interview, then I would look to talk to someone in the President’s office or a school official. Also I would like to talk with the student body President and other students of Liberty University. If I could speak with these people and get them to tell me their side of the story I think this would make the package have much more credibility and make the package stronger as a whole.
Here is a link to the video: “LU Anthem” by Humble Tip
In the video Humble Tip talks about how Liberty University is the largest evangelical school on the planet, about how LU has rules, structure and morals that will help you succeed in life. I also like how the video and in his rap, Humble Tip, likes to talk about people with strong characters and how LU is one of the best campus’ in the world to become a great student and a great person.