NWT hip-hop artist Crook The Kid visits high schools to bring message of hope to students


Over the past few years, Dylan Jones, also known as hip-hop artist Crook The Kid, has focused on making the content of his songs « true » to the NWT, such as writing about the issues people in the territory are faced and the means to overcome them.

After recently completing his High School Tour – in partnership with the Northern Arts and Culture Center, where he visited students in Fort Smith, Hay River, Fort Simpson, Ndılǫ, Norman Wells and Inuvik – he said it was like an affirmation of his choice.

« I started music as a way to deal with my own mental health issues and my own issues in my life. And having this ability to help people in this way is such a feeling…that I never had. felt before. »

With some trepidation and a message of hope, Jones took to the stage in high schools in hopes that he could impact young people who might be struggling as he once did.

Growing up in Fort Good Hope, Northwest Territories, Jones didn’t see school as a place he belonged and he dropped out in 10th grade. Years later, he returned for his General Educational Development (GED) and, with great pride and gratitude, graduated from Aurora College.

« I was harboring a bit of impostor syndrome, you know, like thinking about who I was when I was in school and was scared to come and meet me young somewhere on this tour, » said he declared.

« But my God, I was surprised. It’s been eye-opening and amazing to talk to these young people and young people from the North and to have this chance to share my music with them. »

Dylan Jones, also known as Crook the Kid. (Submitted by Dylan Jones)

While performing for young people, he also spoke with them about everything from feeling disconnected in the classroom to mental health.

To do this, Jones said he needs to open up to students about his own trials, before he can expect to get real emotions from students.

« I stepped in with the songs that affect me the most in the writing, and I also carried my own emotion, and showed my vulnerability and my ability to show emotion before asking anyone to share the theirs with me. I thought it was a good way to exchange energies. »

And it worked, he says.

« As I showed my vulnerability and told my story, the kids seemed to jump on it and get in there with me too. It was awesome, » Jones said.

« It was such a good experience. I was blown away and I’m still figuring out how it all happened. »

More public speaking to come, says Jones

His takeaways? Jones said he wanted to continue touring that way and move towards more public speaking in addition to performing.

« I feel an importance that I never really attached to my music before, I feel the need now to continue, » Jones said.

A crowded dark gym seen from the back, with a man performing on stage in front.
Crook the Kid performs at a high school as part of his recent tour. (Submitted by Crook The Kid)

A few other schools contacted him, as well as a correctional facility to speak and perform.

“When I see the reactions of these… young people and these children, it is important for me to continue to do this. It makes sense and I think it has its place here in the North,” he said. he says.

“I had a very rich relationship with my upbringing. And I was very grateful that I was able to continue. at school – it’s hard to explain how it all happened, but I think my educational background still matters,” Jones said.

He said that message is especially important for kids who plan to take more than one trip like Jones did.

« Even though my story with education has taken so long to come to fruition, I think it’s still about some of the people I’ve met on this tour who, you know, maybe not all of us will. at the same time or right away, » he said.

« But there’s different pressures outside of that classroom that a lot of the time maybe the teachers aren’t aware of, those students aren’t aware of, but that person who knew I was talking to them, they were. aware.”



Back to top button