There’s something hella empowering flowing between the bars of Kendrick Lamar’s latest banger, “DNA.” So for recent college graduate Nahla Ward, the song was the perfect backdrop for rapping about the transformative power of higher education.
In the below video, which Ward posted to Instagram on Monday, the Temple University grad is fully clad in graduation attire as she spits all she’s been able to accomplish throughout her collegiate years.
The 21-year old Connecticut native doesn’t leave behind the song’s most noteworthy verse (“I got loyalty, got royalty inside my DNA”) before putting a collegiate spin on the song.
“I just graduated college, bachelor’s in CLA, studied Spanish and CJ, see my God, he makes a way,” she raps.
Ward, who studied criminal justice and Spanish, said she was very intentional in using “DNA” as the rap’s beat.
“The song highlights different pieces of what made him, him,” she told HuffPost on Tuesday in reference to Lamar. “I wanted to share how my experience in college has helped mold me into a young woman.”
And those experiences were pretty intensive. While at Temple, Ward won the university’s Diamond Award for exceptional students and the 2017 Criminal Justice Faculty Award.
“GPA over 3.5, that’s right, I came to slay.”
She was also crowned Ms. Temple Africa and the Pi Rho Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity’s Miss Black and Gold 2016.
“I got honors and awards flowing in my DNA.”
Ward told Temple Now that she plans to pursue a music career ― and with good reason.
“Even though music is a form of entertainment, to me personally, through my music, I want to educate, inspire and encourage,” Ward told Temple Now. “To me, if there’s no message, it doesn’t make sense.”
Or as she says in her “DNA” remix: “Uplift each other now, there’s no time for the delay.”