Back in 1996, a group of young artists who grew up watching Schoolhouse Rock (including Pavement, Blind Melon and Biz Markie) created some pretty inventive cover versions for an album called Schoolhouse Rock! Rocks. The rapper Skee-Lo tells us about his contribution to the record: a re-imagining of melancholy, folksy "The Tale of Mr. Morton."
On growing up with Schoolhouse Rock:
I was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1975, so I grew up with Schoolhouse Rock, and I know every song in the catalog. They're some of my favorites.
On tackling "The Tale of Mr. Morton" for the Schoolhouse Rock! Rocks covers album:
I always like a challenge, so I tried to pick something difficult or something you'd think could not be turned into something current. I chose "The Tale of Mr. Morton." When I got the project and I was playing the record back I was trying to figure out, 'how am I going to turn this into a rap?' You know, they're singing and I rap, so it was a real challenge. And it was so melancholy, it was real difficult to turn that piece around. But I like the melancholy feel.
On how Schoolhouse Rock continues to figure in his life today:
I have two girls, and they watch Schoolhouse Rock all the time. My youngest especially. I still sing these songs -- they're forever.