C. J. Luckey is a Hip-Hop Artist, Motivation Speaker, and Youth Leader. We had a chance to sit down with C.J. and discuss the motivation behind his new E.P. about Growth Mindset entitled C.A.P.S. (Celebrating All Persevering Students). The first single, “The Power of Yet,” can be purchased on iTunes for $0.99. The album will be released on November 1st, and can be preordered now on iTunes for $5.94. It will be available on all music outlets, such as Spotify, Amazon, Apple Music, and more, on November 1st.
How did you first hear about growth mindset?
My wife Samantha and one of our dear friends Heidi Harris introduced me to Dr. Carol Dweck's growth mindset research. They inspired me to not only research and study the growth mindset, but to write and record an album that included the concepts as well. It's funny because they have been on me about doing an album about the growth mindset for a few years. I guess you can say I procrastinated pretty well, but I finally got around to it. I'm very thankful they introduced me to the growth mindset. Samantha and Heidi are awesome 5th grade teachers who are all about students and teachers learning about the growth mindset!
Why did you decide to apply growth mindset to your work in hip hop music?
My wife and Heidi encouraged me to incorporate the growth mindset into my music. Once I read and studied the research I understood why they were encouraging me to do an album. The growth mindset should be in every school around the world! The growth mindset is something our teachers and students should be taught. I love sharing my gift of hip-hop with people. I love to encourage, inspire, and empower. If I could do that for students all over the world by teaching the growth mindset through hip-hop, I'm all for it!
How has growth mindset been personally meaningful to you?
The growth mindset has been a blessing to me. In many ways it has inspired me to change my perspective in life. The capacity to learn is a gift, the ability to learn is a skill, the willingness to learn is a choice. Learning is a choice I want to be intentional about making every day. It is meaningful to me because it has amazing implications to our students and the way that our teachers teach. It is a way for students to hear the powerful message of Carol Dweck, in a way that children understand. It’s also meaningful to me because growth mindset is a trending topic, but the message has huge implications for all of us. I’m glad growth mindset is getting its place on the stage right now, but it is much more than just a trend. It changes the way we think about struggle, failure, the ability to persevere under things that are difficult. This music offers a chance to teach children a better way to think and improve their self-talk. This is another reason why this is so meaningful to me.
Tell us about your album.
Teachers are always looking for creative and innovative ways for students to learn. So when I studied the research of Dr. Carol Dweck’s growth mindset, my first thought was about how I could use my gift in music to teach students these powerful concepts in the classroom. Not only that, but how I could get teachers and students onboard with this idea. My new album C.A.P.S (Celebrating All Persevering Students) is an upbeat album that will empower and encourage teachers and students alike to embrace a growth mindset as they make mistakes, take on challenges and look at difficult opportunities in a new way!
How do you think this album can be used by others?
I believe my album will be used to complement lessons that teachers teach about growth mindset in their classrooms. I think as teachers present concepts, my music will be a great tool to help students retain and apply these concepts. A friend of mine who teaches 5th grade told me that she plays the Power of Yet in her classroom. She said “students are willing to say they don’t know how yet or they haven’t figured out how to fix it yet. They’re very willing to add yet to their sentences.” This complements lessons that are already taught reinforcing this research. This album will be a tremendous blessing to students & educators around the world!
What’s your next challenge?
My next challenge is to do a C.A.P.S. tour around the United States! I would love to do a tour with my album! I would love to speak and perform for every school that is willing to have me. It would be a great honor and the students would love it! In addition, I would love to do a Growth Mindset Mic Check in the cities I tour in as well. This would be an event for educators where I will offer all educators who attend an opportunity to hear the C.A.P.S. album. During this event, I will share the purpose and reason for my album. I will also discuss the growth mindset concepts on the album. Teachers will be provided with a presentation and research as to why this album will be a great teaching tool in their classrooms. I will also include a few giveaways as well. This event will allow me to take advantage of the opportunity to be a blessing to our educators and let them know just how much they are appreciated and valued. Those are my next challenges! I’m excited about the album! I've worked extremely hard to produce a quality album that benefits all. I hope the students and educators around the world enjoy listening to it just as much as I did creating it!