Go to college, raps Michelle Obama

Mrs Michelle Obama and Jay Pharoah in the tongue-in-cheek music video to encourage children to go to university.
Mrs Michelle Obama and Jay Pharoah in the tongue-in-cheek music video to encourage children to go to university. PHOTO: YOUTUBE

WASHINGTON • She has won plaudits for her smarts and style, even her funk dancing skills, but Mrs Michelle Obama was less known as a rapper - until now.

The American First Lady and Harvard Law School graduate throws down some rhymes in a tongue-in-cheek music video released on Thursday to encourage children to go to university.

Co-starring actor Jay Pharoah, 28 - known for his uncanny impersonation of Mr Barack Obama - the video shows the pair dancing at the White House and rapping into a studio mic.

"If you wanna fly jets you should go to college/Reach high and cash checks, fill your head with knowledge," they riff in tandem.

Produced for the student site College Humor, the video is part of a drive called Better Make Room, which aims to reverse falling United States college graduation rates.

"South Side Chicago, we all know/We had to do overtime every night to make it to tomorrow," raps Mrs Obama - who grew up in the city's south.

"And everyone could really make their dream come true/Hey kid listening in Michigan, this could be you."

During her time in the White House, Mrs Obama, 51, has championed a string of initiatives to promote healthy eating, education for girls and help for military families. She wowed crowds earlier this year with an impressive Uptown Funk dance routine, performed during the traditional Easter Egg hunt at the White House in support of her campaign for healthier lifestyles.

Fans took to social media to praise her "dope" rap skills. Some saw the funny side while a few suggested her teenage daughters Sasha and Malia might be a tad embarrassed.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 12, 2015, with the headline 'Go to college, raps Michelle Obama'. Print Edition | Subscribe