Turn Up for College: FLOTUS Raps About the Benefits of Higher Ed

The first lady and comedian Jay Pharoah make it rain with all the cash they earned with their college degrees.
Dec 10, 2015·
Samantha Cowan is an associate editor for culture.

After proving her musical prowess by spinning the hit tune “Turn Down for What” into a call for healthy eating with “Turnip for What?” MC and First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama is back on the music scene, rapping about the benefits of higher education.

Joined by Jay Pharoah, who regularly portrays President Barack Obama on Saturday Night Live, she stars in a music video released Thursday, aptly titled “Go to College.”

“If you wanna fly jets, you should go to college. Reach high and cash checks? Fill your head with knowledge,” Obama and Pharoah sing together.

Produced by CollegeHumor, the video is part of Obama’s “Better Make Room” campaign, which encourages young people to pave a path toward higher education—be it vocational school, community college, or a four-year university. The campaign lists simple steps for teens to take, such as scheduling SAT exams or a college tour.

Obama takes a solo to share her own track to college, hoping to inspire kids across the nation that they too can succeed regardless of circumstance.

“South Side Chicago, we all know we had to do overtime every night to make it tomorrow, and everyone could really make their dream true,” Obama, who holds degrees from both Princeton and Harvard, raps. “Hey, kid listenin’ in Michigan, that could be you!“

The “Better Make Room“ campaign supports Obama’s “Reach Higher“ initiative, which lists a goal of America having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020. The U.S. currently ranks 19th out of 28 countries, according to a 2014 study.

While the video’s direct impact on teens’ interest in college will be difficult to pin down, Twitter certainly approves of the first lady’s musical skills. The hashtag #FlotusBars was trending on Thursday, with Twitter fans sharing their own rhymes featuring education and nutrition.