Diamonds & Wood: The Yearbook

"Diamonds & Wood" is an ongoing series in which music critic Shea Serrano breaks down the 5 hip-hop tracks you need to hear this week.

If I may be a bit self-involved for a moment (or at least slightly more self-involved than usual), a thing:

We are now less than a fortnight away from the end of the school year and while there were definitely some days along the way that’d I’d like to do over, AND WHILE every February I find myself sayings some variation of, “Man, I wish this year would just hurrytheFon already,” AND WHILE I teach what is regarded as the hardest content matter to the hardest population of students, AND WHILE [a billion other things], I am at least a little bit sad.

I never find myself thinking that I’m any of their fathers (I have three sons of my own, and those fuckers are plenty) and I never find myself thinking I am any of their friends (save for my two 16-year-olds, I double over all of them in age), but I always find myself invested in their academic lives (which, make no mistake, is almost always counterintuitive to their actual lives) and that’s plenty a tug.

So, in lieu of music this week, a peek.

Each year, I pass around this notebook and allow kids to write whatever end-of-year message they want. I’ve received notes from most of kids already. The best ones so far are presented above with commentary.

Shea Serrano is a writer living in Houston, TX. His work has appeared in the Houston Press, LA Weekly, Village Voice, XXL, The Source, Grantland and more. You can follow him on Twitter here.