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Guilford County PE teacher uses life as hip-hop artist to motivate kids

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HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Travis Turley recently received a big honor in the Big Apple for his skills as a rapper/hip-hop artist.

However, it’s his ties to the Piedmont that may be surprising.

When Turley isn’t performing, he spends his days working as a physical education teacher at Kirkman Park Elementary in High Point.

“There’s that reputation that they know that Coach Turley is bound to say something that rhymes sooner or later,” he said.

Turley became invested in rapping shortly after high school and was able to make connections in the local hip-hop scene while studying at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Turley has continued to rap over the years.

He and his friend, fellow hip-hop artist Ty Bru, recently won Best Rap/Hip-Hop Album at The Independent Music Awards.

“We took a couple days off of school. We went up to New York. [We] really had our doubts because we were going against some pretty heavy hitters in the whole independent hip-hop scene,” Turley said.

Turley likes to use rapping as an incentive for students.

He will use the skill in larger environments such as at a pep rally or during End of Grade testing to motivate kids.

Other projects have included recording a hip-hop warm-up song for Southwest Guilford High School’s football team where Turley is also a coach.

“The music has allowed me to connect with the kids. I love it,” he said.

Turley is currently working on music projects.

He says he is considering shifting his focus on inspirational songs that are specifically geared toward education.