Who knows a person better during their adolescence than a parent or an educator?
Jeremy Peters, a Civics and U.S. History teacher at Robeson High School, formerly taught many of Chicago’s current top underground Hip Hop acts.
Peters experienced a bit of nostalgia upon viewing episode one of Noisey’s “Chiraq” documentary.
Peters was prompted to take to Twitter to simply write, “These were my students” before posting a link to the doc.
Peters was then contacted by Noisey to shed more light on his former students.
Peters recalled teaching Tyree Pittman, aka Young Chop, saying he was “glad to hear of his success.”
He went on to give a bit of backdrop on several of the more popular members of the Bricksquad 6775 camp, including Lil JoJo, Smylez and Lil Mister.
“Joseph, or JoJo, dropped out of Robeson in his freshman year before I ever had him in a class,” he told Noisey. “But I taught all of his friends and extended family.”
Peters said JoJo was “elevated to a saint-like status” following his death.
Peters remembered Smylez, real name Izerick, as being “super smart” and “creative.”
Peters said he taught Lil Mister, real name Antwon, twice.
“He finally dropped out cause he was too blunted to leave the studio for my 8am class,” he said.
Peters recalled the former Robeson students as “good kids,” but deeply effected by the negative influences of the streets and lack of parents. He went on to say they countered their disadvantages in life by using social media to jumpstart their music careers.
“They were all good kids with essentially no parents, left to raise themselves surrounded by criminal role models and mentors that were the old remnants of the now defunct BD/GD cartels,” he told Noisey. “With no jobs, a shitty education, and no clear pathway to the traditional American Dream, they simply made their own way with the help of social media. They are true upstarts.”