NEW YORK (PIX11) — A Harlem educator is on a mission to teach his students about hip-hop, using his unique perspective. 

As a student at Middle School 286 in Harlem, D. L. Barksdale founded the hip-hop group The Fearless Four. 

Today Middle School 286 is also known as the Urban Assembly Academy for Future Leaders, and D. L. Barksdale is the assistant principal. Barksdale calls this moment “full circle.” 

Wanting to show his students how hip-hop, a multi-billion dollar global movement started with New York City teens just like them, Barksdale brought his students to The Shabazz Center Tuesday to hear from a few of his friends “to see their eyes light up then these people came through.”

Barksdale introduced his students to several hip-hop pioneers, including LA Sunshine, Kool DJ Red Alert, Grandmaster Caz and Doug E. Fresh.

“I want the kids to know that all we want to do is inspire you,” Doug E. Fresh said. “We want you to be the best that you can be.”

The students listened closely as the hip-hop legends shared their insight in a panel discussion. They also learned more about litefeet, a form of hip-hop dance that started in Harlem.