Rhymer/Educator owns mic, classroom
LaPorte High School has many teachers who live fascinating lives. Teacher by day and rapper by night, business teacher Mr. Ruiz, also known as Rhymer/Educator, is undeterred in pursuing both his passions for education and music.
Ruiz has been in the music game from a young age. He first became interested in music when he was nine years old. A friend of his named Chris was his inspiration.
“Chris was one of those triple threats who could sing, rap, and dance. He would always sing and encourage me to sing, and I had not sung before except in my car listening to the radio,” Ruiz said.
Rap music and music in general has been a defining part of Ruiz’s life. At times, it was difficult to gain access to, but that didn’t stop him from listening.
“There was something about rap music that was really cool to me, but in my house rap music was a no-no. My parents wouldn’t let me listen to it, so I had to sneak rap music into my house, wait for it to come on the radio, and record it on a blank cassette tape,” Ruiz said.
In college at Bethel University, Ruiz and a few of his friends would create music just for fun. This helped expand Ruiz’s love for music.
“We would plug a microphone into a computer and download beats to make rap songs. They weren’t the best quality, but that was the start of the first iteration of what I wanted to do,” Ruiz said.
Ruiz also collaborated with fellow LPHS musician Carter Jones on a song called “2020-2021.”
“I wrote a tongue-in-cheek song and I shared it with Carter. He recorded a verse from home and sent it to me, and I used it in my song. This was cool because I had never collaborated with a current student before,” Ruiz said.
Ruiz cites his biggest accomplishments as putting out his studio album, “The Rhymer/Educator Project” and opening for big name artists, such as Pitbull at Four Winds Field and Vanilla Ice at the LaPorte County Fair.
“Putting out my first album was a dream come true. I always wanted to put out a real studio album and now I’m learning how to produce music on my own. Everything I release is going to be self made. Opening for Pitbull was really cool. I was able to play in a baseball stadium and we played with Vanilla Ice, Pitbull, and MAX,” Ruiz said.
For Ruiz, writing music isn’t just fun but is a form of therapy and coping. To him, writing music is like a journal.
“I find that the songs that are the most successful are the songs that are the most personal. Some people like the love songs that I write for my wife because they are personal. I like being able to chronicle everything that happens to me. It’s a healthy coping skill,” Ruiz said.
Ruiz’s love for teaching and music are not mutually exclusive. He finds equal amounts of joy in both and is happy where he is right now.
“I just started teaching five years ago, and I really love being a teacher. I love spending my days with teenagers and explaining things and trying to give them a good head start. I’m at a happy place right now. Being a teacher and pushing my passion on the side is happy for me. I’m doing two things that I love right now, and I’m so lucky to have that,” Ruiz said.
Be sure to check out Rhymer/Educator’s music on almost all streaming platforms and social media, @RhymerEducator.