Weekly projects have kicked off here at ASA and last week our students dove into composers from the 1920s-1930s.
One of our Foundation students George, got super creative and wrote a rap about Irving Berlin, one of America’s greatest Musical Theatre composers and lyricists. His rap blew us all away and we wanted to share the lyrics with you below:

Lemme tell you bout one of the best songwriters who has ever lived

He goes by the name of Irving Berlin

Born In Russia, in 1888. When he was 5, his family moved to the United States

To New York City, he started working as a paperboy to support his family.

However, he wasn’t a kid for long. At age 14 he had to leave his home uh

When he found that music was his gift, he was singing in bars, earning every single tip

But Berlins hard work paid off, when in 1911 he wrote his first hit song

3 years later, gained knowledge putting pen to paper wrote his musical and then became far greater.

Lookin fine with the timeline, the insomniac songwriter became famous overnight

He blew up, never thought he would, but with his passion and pride he was bound to be allgood.

And if you don’t know, now you know.

His name’s Israel Beiline, an immigrant

Coming from Underground, to show his sound.

He is the man, he achieved greatness

No one is like him

Beilines the man.

He was a patriot, joined the army at 30

Showed his gratitude when he wrote songs for Tin Pan Alley

Wrote a musical while on duty, and it showed how he hated to get up in the morning.

The musical was simply for soldiers, and the revenue came in at 150,000 dollars

  Now in 1921, he marched away from the guns, came back which he loved.

Now from 1921 to 1938 he wrote hundreds of songs building up his musical plate

Then in 41 went back to the army and wrote another musical about a soldiers journey.

Livin life without fear, Berlin always paid back gratitude from ear to ear.

He thanked the nation for giving him a chance

So he paid the army millions in advance

An awesome life of an immigrant misunderstood, and that’s allgood.

If you don’t know, now you know.


Berlin longed and lived for over a hundred years

Seeing changes in the culture which were starting to appear.

He has watched his hits become no. 1  

People like Frank, Ella, Louis, they loved him for who he was.

Even though he wasn’t musically sharp

Playing just the black keys never did him any harm.

He was a man who was limitless

1,500 songs man show me where the limit is.

But this man knowing he came down from the dumps

Certainly inspires me to rise to the top

But if you don’t know now you know.

George Hiku