Education

Rap song + computer game + history lesson = hit video for Community House teacher

Straight Intta Oregon

Community House Middle School teacher Justin Ashley and his students combined rap with the computer game Oregon Trail to produce a video that livened up a history lesson. Song producer Yung Macnificent.
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Community House Middle School teacher Justin Ashley and his students combined rap with the computer game Oregon Trail to produce a video that livened up a history lesson. Song producer Yung Macnificent.

Justin Ashley, the Community House Middle School teacher who loves to combine historic costumes with pop culture, is at it again with “Straight Intta Oregon.”

He, his students and a local rapper known as Yung Macnificent merged the music from “Straight Outta Compton” with graphics from the classic Oregon Trail computer game and scenes such as Ashley in period garb and a beard hunting a plush squirrel with a dart gun. They even work in a quick reference to the water bottle flip that originated at nearby Ardrey Kell High and went viral in May.

“When I’m in your neighborhood you in luck cause there’s a seat in my pioneer truck,” Ashley raps. “As we leave oxen are stomping. We ain’t coming back, boy – we going straight intta Oregon.”

The video, which has been viewed more than 6,000 times on Facebook and YouTube, was featured recently on The (Portland) Oregonian’s website and on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Facebook page.

Ashley is social-media savvy and no stranger to public attention. A previous rap video on the Bill of Rights, titled “Rights Rights Baby,” was viewed more than 135,000 times on YouTube. In 2013, his open letter to then-House Speaker Thom Tillis about choosing a career as a teacher over that of a Burger King manager went viral.

Ann Doss Helms: 704-358-5033, @anndosshelms

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