Within about two weeks of being posted, a rap video featuring Tallahassee has gotten more than 20,000 views.
Andrew Mannheimer is a southern boy from Tallahassee who loves his home town so much he’s sticking around to get his Ph.D. in sociology at Florida State University. He works there now as a co-teacher for a class on sociology and hip-hop. And in his free time he raps.
Mannheimer goes by the name “Yt,” when he raps, which stands for young and talented. He got hooked on rapping at a young age when he says the Jock Jams he heard used in the background of sports highlights caught his ear. Then in about sixth grade he started writing rhymes in his notebook and performing them after lunch. By high school he was working with a producer and recording albums. In college he continued, producing one of his most popular songs called "Auburn Boys."
“ I loved how motivating hip hop was. You know they say hustling, but it really just promotes hard work,” Mannheimer said.
Most recently, Mannheimer has produced a song called “Tallahassee.” It celebrates Mannheimer’s life and home town with lyrics mentioning popular places like midtown and streets like Tennessee. The song even gives a nod to his place of birth by mentioning the hospital, Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare, where Mannheimer's lyrics say he was born in 1987.
Mannheimer said he’s gotten a lot of support from his home town and producing the Tallahassee song is a way of recognizing that and giving back. And that’s not the only way he’s giving back.
“I rap at elementary schools sometimes and I rap and try to teach them to rap,” Mannheimer said.
Mannheimer said he’s working to break the stereotype that there’s a boundary between hip hop and being educated. And, he’s different from the typical rapper in a number of other ways too. For example, as a rule, he doesn’t use profanity in his work.
“I try to be authentic with my music. And you’re not going to hear me use profanity in an everyday situation. I mean, I’m not saying never—sometimes the traffic on Tennessee street might be pretty bad and something might slip out. I’m not perfect.”
Once he finishes his Ph.D., Mannheimer said he hopes to become a college professor. He wants to continue teaching classes that link hip hop and learning.
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