Hip-hop writer
South Shore Academy

Can you talk about your experience in high school?
RHYMEFEST: I actually ended up dropping out of high school. I went back and got a GED and went to night school where I took some college courses.

What were you like when you were in high school?
RHYMEFEST: I kind of marched to the beat of my own drum. It was kind of interesting because I wasn’t an athlete and I wasn’t necessarily the bad boy, cool guy. I was just me. People knew me individually and didn’t know me for hanging around particular groups.

What’s one thing you wish you were taught in school?
RHYMEFEST: Money management. … I think when you look at the debt that America is in, the fact that there are no money management courses in schools really reflects the nation that we live in. Money is something at an early age that we could be taught how to manage, and that’s something I think that I would’ve been better off had I learned.

If you could meet your 16-year-old-self, what’s one piece of advice you would give him?
RHYMEFEST: Stop trying to kiss all the pretty teachers. When I was in high school, I didn’t have crushes on girls in the classroom, I had crushes on teachers. … My wife is a teacher at Whitney Young, so I still have a thing for teachers.

What do you miss most about school?
RHYMEFEST: The camaraderie of some of the friends I made at that time. With that comes another thing, which is regret. I regret I didn’t keep up with some of my friends from school, I regret that I didn’t form more and better relationships with some of the other students. Some people have those long-lasting, rich relationships from high school that they still have. I don’t have many of those, but I do remember having good friends then that I wish I still kept up with. Some of those moments in school and after school with my friends were some of the best times of my life.

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About The Mash

The Mash is the Chicago Tribune's newspaper and website written for teens, by teens. The paper is distributed for free every other Thursday at Chicago-area high schools and is written largely by high school students.

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