About the video contest:
- From February 21st to March 18th, Def Jam Rapstar, bet Networks and the Get Schooled Foundation hosted the Def Jam Rapstar video contest. All current U.S. high school students aged 13-19 were invited to submit a 60-second spoken word video about how education influences their life. Entrants were encouraged to express themselves and engage their peers with positive messages including: their goals, going to college, school pride, motivation, dedication, etc.
- A panel comprised of executives from Def Jam Enterprises, bet Networks and the Get Schooled Foundation selected the winning video that displayed creativity, positive messages and fit within the contest guidelines. The winner will receive a trip to New York City to meet Russell Simmons (Def-Jam co-founder) and Kevin Liles (former recording label executive), and the student will be invited to perform his/her winning rhyme on BET’s hit music countdown show, “106 & Park.
About the Video Contest Winner: “Yungmil,”aka Ezekial Jones, (Portland, OR), Leaders of the New School: https://defjamrapstar.getschooled.com/getmotivated/?play=27303
Ezekial Jones, the 17-year-old winner, attends Parkrose High School in Portland, Oregon. His winning video Leaders of the New School was viewed more than 900 times and includes memorable lyrics including “it looked like a long road at first but now I think its walking distance, visualize success first then put it in your composition” and “we should be going to school, not just blogging on YouTube because it’s up to us to be the Leaders of the New School.” On June 28th, Ezekial will travel to New York City to meet Russell Simmons and Kevin Liles and perform Leaders of the New School on BET’s hit music countdown show, “106 & Park.”
Jones, 17, is a senior at Parkrose High School. His video was viewed more than 900 times and includes memorable lyrics such as “it looked like a long road at first but now I think it’s in walking distance, visualize success first then put it in your composition” and “we should be going to school, not just blogging on YouTube because it’s up to us to be the leaders of the new school.” You can find the video in its entirety here: https://defjamrapstar.getschooled.com/getmotivated/?play=27303.
He credits his parents, school faculty and local rappers Cool Nutz and Diezel P for encouraging him to do well in school and graduate. “I have supportive teachers who have throughout my academic career continually stressed the importance of putting my education first. Me and many of my friends have really cracked down and have started to recognize the importance of graduation and moving forward to the next step of life. Leaders of the new school means that the youth of today has the power to mold the future and set the standard.”