CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Ardrey Kell High School senior Ethan Kim wants to get into Harvard so badly that he wrote and performed a rap song: “Harvard Please Let Me In.”
It hasn’t made Billboard’s Top Hip Hop Charts, but Kim’s video has gotten more than 31,000 views since he posted it to YouTube on February 6.
Kim says he doesn’t feel like Harvard owes him anything - he’s calling his rap video a long-shot that allowed him to have some fun. He convinced a friend to help him shoot it.
“So I pitched the idea to him on the spot,” Kim explained. “I said, ‘hey, would you help with a rap video for Harvard?’ He started laughing at first, he thought I was joking. And then he saw that I was being serious and he was like, ‘you know what dude, if you make it good, I’ll be down to help.’”
Kim raps his plea from familiar Charlotte and Ballantyne locations, rapping about himself, his personality and effort as a student.
From the very first verse, it’s clear, Kim’s teachers at Ardrey Kell High School think the idea of this “rap” video to Harvard, isn’t the best idea.
He says he knows competition into Harvard is stiff. According to Prep Scholar, only 4.7% of students who apply to Harvard University are accepted. That would be 4.7 applicants out of 100.
In his lyrics, Kim refers to his Korean background, rooted in the south. He calls himself middle class while making it rain Monopoly money. He raps how he doesn’t have the “bands,” or cash, for tuition.
Like most universities, Harvard gives students a chance to submit supplementary essays. This is a chance for applicants to share more about themselves. It’s basically a “pitch” to the schools as to why they should pick you over others.
Kim may not be the first to submit a music video. WBTV found on Harvard’s student application page a place for students’ “supplementals” to be uploaded recordings.
Kim was “deferred,” which isn’t exactly being rejected by Harvard. But, with confidence, he lets the university know it will be their loss if they don’t accept him for the 2020-2021 academic year.
“Getting rejected I will never pout," he says in the video, "But this is me here and you gonna miss out!”
He adds that in the end, not everything is riding on a Harvard acceptance.
“I believe whatever college that ultimately wants me for who I am is where I belong.”