Fetty Wap video shot at his former Paterson high school upsets officials
A New Jersey school district is investigating after rapper Fetty Wap recorded a music video including drug references and a dancer on a pole in his old high school.
The Paterson native released the video for "Wake Up" last week.
As a result, the principal was placed on paid administrative leave.
Paterson school district spokeswoman Terry Corallo tells NJ Advance Media the district is investigating whether procedures were followed in allowing parts of the video to be recorded at East Side High School. Fetty Wap dropped out of the school.
Corallo says the district does not endorse the content of the video, which she says was shot during non-instructional hours and did not include students.
A spokeswoman for Fetty Wap didn't immediately return an email seeking comment.
Fetty Wap performed a free show for Paterson high school students last August.
Toward the end of the video, a woman presumed to be a teacher takes an apple from her desk and uses it as a bong.
Some community leaders questioned why a video they say glamorizes negative behaviors was allowed to be filmed at the school.
"I'm from Paterson and I'm proud of his success, but as a parent and school board member I think it sends the wrong message," Kenneth Simmons told The Record. "To me, it glorifies dropping out of high school and getting high."
In a statement issued Wednesday afternoon, the rapper defended his actions.
"I went back to my old high school because I love my city," he said. "I wanted to show the students of Paterson that someone who walked those same hallways they walk every day and sat in the same classrooms shown in the video has become successful. If I can do it they can do it too."
His recording label, 300 Entertainment, also voiced support for Wap.
The label "encourages and champions artistic expression and creativity from our artists," the company said.
Fetty Wap performed a free show for city high school students in August.
On his Instagram account, he said the song "is for everyone that celebrates 4/20 all year but still passes that math test. This song is for everyone that might not be in the top of their class or most popular but you still know where you're headed, just riding your own path.
"I can tell you from experience that if you really put your heart and effort into achieving your goals, you won't walk away empty handed. You'll make it."
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