#blackexcellence of the week: a morehouse college student turns lil uzi vert's “xo tour llif3” into a biology lesson called “xy cell llif3”
This story goes to show how creative plus extra credit can go a long way.
Morehouse student Julien Turner is enrolled in a Biology course for non-majors and decided to remix emo hip-hop artist Lil' Uzi Vert's 2017 hit "XO Tour Lif3" for his extra-credit assignment. The video currently has 684,913 views & 26k likes on YouTube to date while garnering 150,000 retweets on Twitter.
While the Uzi's song talks about substance abuse, betrayal, and suicide, Turner turns the verse and hook of the track into a lesson about cellular biology. The video was filmed on Morehouse's campus.
Turner, a business administration major and linebacker on the college’s football team, told ABC's Good Morning America that the idea came to him as he was sitting in bed after a game one night.
“[I] was listening to 'XO Tour Llif3' and I remembered [the professor] had assigned an extra credit assignment where I could make a music video out of anything, and ‘all my cells are dead’ just kept repeating in my head, “I scrambled to check my notes to make sure it had something to do with biology and I started writing lyrics that were parallel to the song so I could remember it better. I called up a few teammates and we made the video, and it just blew up from there.”
His professor Dr. Dwann Davenport said Turner earned the extra credit with the creative music video.
“I actually heard about it before I even checked my email to see that he’d turned it in,” Davenportd said. “I see the text message with the link and I clicked on it and I was like, ‘Oh this is catchy. This is nice.’ I saw all the likes and all the retweets and I was like, ‘Wait, this is my student. Wait a minute, this is Julien. Oh my goodness.’ I was so excited, but I didn’t expect anything like this.”
But the gag is......Turner was already “an excellent student doing well in the class, minus the extra credit.", said Davenport. And Turner "never turn[s] down extra credit."
“He’s an athlete, he’s on the football team. He’s amazing,” she said.
Several years ago, Turner and his 15-yr. Old brother Justin own a production company titled Dreadhead Films, LLC, "with a mission to create stories that entertain, inspire, and uplift.
Turner isn't the only one in his family that is music-centric. His father Kevin Turner is a jazz guitarist and music professor at Ohio State University.