Fetty Wap traded Hollywood for homeroom in the video for his single “Wake Up” that was released last Friday. Throughout the video, the New Jersey native passes through the familiar hallways of his alma mater Eastside High School. Perhaps more than embellishing on his memories of his days as a student, the video features various marijuana references, a stripper and twerking galore. In one scene, a young woman uses an apple as a bong. Clearly, she’s a high achiever.
While the video has received over three million views since it released, it seems that not everyone was a fan. According to NJ.com, officials of the Paterson School District, where the school is located, have initiated an investigation to find out exactly who gave the “Trap Queen” rapper permission to shoot the video on school property.
Several parents and school board members have spoken out about the content of the video. In a statement to NorthJersery.com, veteran school board member Errol Kerr referred to it as something he thinks is “just a step over lewdness.” Former school board member Corey Teague also said that Fetty Wap’s message is “not conducive to learning.”
As children, we’re often taught to never judge a book by its cover; it is what’s inside that matters. However there are some people who, out of fear of the unknown, resort to stereotypes and lower their eyes in judgment without taking the time to understand.
Back in April, when “Wake Up” was dropped, Fetty Wap also released a letter to the “Class of Z0016” in which he discusses his personal struggles with school, which led to him eventually dropping out. He encourages others to find whatever it is that motivates them in life and to stick with it. The chorus “Let’s get Wiz Khalifa high/Get meditated over medicated” can easily portray this song as an anthem that justifies stoners and slackers, but to believe this interpretation is to only scratch the surface. If you take this song or video at face value without attempting to understand the motives of the artist behind it, you’re doing yourself a disservice.
“I can tell you from experience that if you really put your heart and effort into achieving your goals, you won’t walk away empty handed,” Fetty Wap says in his letter. “You will make it.”