Teens create video to promote reading
It’s a hip-hop song you might not expect to hear from a couple of teenagers.
Nate Kretlow and Collin Kadlec, both seniors at Rhinelander High School, have gone viral with their musical creation, “In The LMC” an original song and music video the two produced and perform with the help of their third hour Oral Interpretation class. The video is their entry into a contest sponsored by Stevens Point Area Senior High School asking rival schools to submit education inspired musical productions.
In their song, Collin and Nate rap about such joys as spending an afternoon buried in a good book, and the excitement of checking out a brand new book from the school’s Library Media Center (LMC). Throughout the more than 5 minute video, Collin and Nate rap and rhyme while the other 31 students in the class act out reading-related skits all around the high school. Collin said the main message the duo is trying to get across in the song is that reading doesn’t have to be a chore for young minds.
“You can have a good time reading,” said Collin. “We kind of started with a small idea, and it ballooned from there, to where the whole school was on board. It was a lot of fun.”
Nate said he and a few other friends came up with the idea as a class conversation several months ago. Collin, a budding musician who’s planning to major in Music Business, happened to overhear the discussion and was immedately intrigued.
“I’ve done some mixing and production stuff before, so I thought I could help,” said Collin. “I guess Nate and I kind of took it over from there.”
The baseline from the song is sampled from the song Young, Wild and Free by Wiz Khalifa, Snoop Dogg and Bruno Mars, but the lyrics are Collin and Nate’s, with the help of their classmates and the books in the LMC.
“Coming up with lyrics was probably the toughest part of the process for me,” said Nate. “We spent a lot of time in the LMC going through books looking for inspiring quotes we could use.”
The two teens hope the song will inspire their peers to pick up a book for the enjoyment of reading, not because they are told to by a teacher or parent.
“A lot of the kids that worked on this really weren’t big readers, but as they went through books for their research, some actually began to enjoy sitting down and reading,” said Josh Jaeger, the class’s instructor. “It was great to see how into this the whole class got.”
The video is reminicent of last’s year’s Oral Interpretation class project, RHS Lip Dub, a 10 minute viral sensation filed last year that featured nearly every student in the school and got thousands of YourTube hits. Collin and Nate said they were inspired by their school’s first attempt at producing a viral music video last year, and believe that their brand new production compares favorably.
“Lip Dub was a lot to live up to, but I think we’re really happy with how our video turned out,” said Nate. “I think we both wish that this was our junior year and not our senior year so we’d have the chance to do more projects like this.”
While Collin and Nate knew each other before starting this project, they admittadly weren’t close friends. Doing this project together has made the two nearly inseperable.
“It’s kind of funny,” said Collin. “We’d see each other before and say ‘Hey’ or whatever, but it isn’t like we hung out. Doing this, we found out that we have a lot of the same interests and have become good friends.”
Collin will be going to McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul, Minn., major in Music Business, as noted. Nate plans to enroll at UW-Milwaukee, and will likely pick a major in the medical field. He said he plans to stay close to music, though, and the duo plans to get together during their summers and vacations to make more music.
“This was just too much fun not to continue,” said Nate.
“We learned we aren’t very good singers,” said Collin. “But we had a blast.”