Philadelphia high school senior pays tribute to Excel Academy South, with take-off on Rap tune, “Ready or Not”

 In Camelot Blog

(Philadelphia, PA – April 4, 2013)

Lena Lynch says she was moved to inspire others after Camelot helped her turn her life around.

“Ready or not, here we come, forget them other schools, Excel get it done!

Know the norms are hard, but we follow them though, on our way to the top…

Because we achieved our goals!

Those are the opening lyrics of Excel Academy South senior Lena Lynch’s original rap song paying tribute to the school that has helped her take her academics to the next level. (The tune is a take-off on the Fugees’ rap hit Ready or Not.

Rapping is Lena’s passion. When she’s not at school she’s in the studio for hours at a time. She has recorded CD’s, albums and other projects. “Up until now I have made the music for myself,” she says. “It’s like a diary. I’m not trying to sell the music.”

But now she says she’s writing music for her school, a place where students who have fallen years behind have an opportunity to catch up and graduate. Unlike the lyrics she writes for herself, she wants her classmates to tell her what they like and don’t like about the Excel song, including lyrics like…

Coming here you’ll be surprised of what you’ve learned

Excel will have your low grades do a U-Turn

What was Lena trying to convey with the words she wrote and recorded? “I decided to write it because I love the school and wanted to have a positive impact,” she says. “I want to persuade people if you come here you will see the purpose behind going to school and it can change your whole life. You can be a whole different person.”

Lena admits she was “hard-headed” and “earning pink slips” when she was younger. She failed 6th grade and attended disciplinary schools. Her life changed for the better in 2011 when she was transferred to Camelot Academy, a transitional school in North Philadelphia. Then, based on the progress she made there she transferred last September to Excel Academy South, located on the campus of Friends Hospital in the Northeast.

Now she is on course to graduate this June and go on to college, a prospect she couldn’t imagine two years ago. She has applied to West Chester University and Delaware State.

Lena has risen to Excel Academy’s top student echelon as a member of student government, the Eagles. “I enjoy showing people the right things to do and setting an example for other students. I think our system where students hold their peers accountable works better than just having teachers tell you what to do.”

She plans to continue going to the studio every day to keep writing and rapping, and seeing where that leads. As for school, her advice for her peers: “Stay focused; follow the norms; change your life.”

You can hear the recording and watch the video on YouTube.

Lyrics to “Excel South” by Lena Lynch

[Hook] “Ready or not, here we come, forget them other schools Excel get it done! Know the norms are hard, but we follow them though, on our way to the top…Because we achieved our goals! (We’re number one)”

You haven’t learned nothing until you taught the teacher something

Get the class to hush it up when the teacher’s coming

If you’re not trying to reach a goal, you’re not reaching anything

So come to Excel South and we can teach ya something!

Because of Excel I’ve reached a lot of goals

I’m getting A’s again I’ve even got on honor roll!

To the ones that think they know, they don’t know it all

Excel South isn’t just about protocol

The collar shirts and the ties is just the business side…

You know, just in case you want a business job! Yes!

Everybody wants respect so respect confrontation from an eagle or exec.

We’re not asking for much just saying “do your best”

Get your class work done and then no worries on your test!

Coming here you’ll be surprised of what you’ve learned

Excel will have your low grades do a U-Turn

I get my morning made when I get to intake, a quick laugh from Bailey, Bucca, & Free-J

Go to town house and get it started with Jackson to say “we want a good day”

So we’re gonna make it happen!

Start the warm-up in the beginning of classes

No chewing gum, playing, talking, or laughing!

Only thing you need to do is get your work done

I’m right on my class work I be the first done!

Just ask the teacher for it if you need some help

I go to Ford when I have a question about health!

So everything I needed to ask, I’ll have all the answers just by being in my class

[Hook] “Ready or not, here we come, forget them other schools Excel get it done! Know the norms are hard, but we follow them though, on our way to the top…Because we achieved our goals! (We’re number one)”

Read more about Camelot Schools at www.camelotforkids.org

Recent Posts