PHOTOS: Hip Hop Group “Blue Scholars” Surprises Students

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On Thursday afternoon (March 5th), students at Des Moines’ Pacific Middle School were treated to a special, surprise performance by Seattle’s popular hip-hop duo the Blue Scholars, seen in the slideshow above by Photographer Tom Sirgedas.

The concert was a reward for students who have no tardies, unexcused absences, or referrals for the month of February, part of Pacific’s “Fun Friday” program that rewards students for excellent behavior and attendance. The students knew they were getting an assembly of some kind, but the band’s appearance was a total surprise for them.

Blue Scholars plays to sell-out crowds in Seattle and beyond, and has opened for such acclaimed artists as Kanye West at Bumbershoot in 2006. The duo is also known for its political and community organizing, including work with the Washington Asian Pacific Islander Families Against Substance Abuse youth program. The group’s lyrics often center on social justice and youth empowerment.

“I am so grateful to the band for reaching out to our kids,” said Sarah Ruppert, a teacher at Pacific. “Blue Scholars are amazing role models, and their message is so positive and empowering.”

The duo was created in 2002 while the members, Geologic and Sabzi, were a part of The SHOW (Student Hip Hop Organization of Washington) at the University of Washington (Seattle). The group consists of one DJ, Sabzi (Saba Mohajerjasbi) and one MC, Geologic (George Quibuyen).

The duo’s name, “Blue Scholars,” is a play on the term “blue collar,” which is an idiom for workers who often earn meager hourly wages for manual labor. Their music and lyrics often focus on struggles between socioeconomic classes, challenging authority and youth empowerment, as evidenced in the songs “Blink” and “Commencement Day.” These themes are often specifically addressed in relation to the Seattle region, as in “Southside Revival”, “North by Northwest”, and “The Ave.”

If you aren’t a middle school student, and feel like re-living this moment, here is a Blue Scholars video to show you what you missed:

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