Hov’s lyrical prowess and culture impact on the community has placed him right in the center of a Georgetown University course. These lucky students get to take a fall semester only three credit course on the “Sociology of Hip Hop” focusing in on one star in particular: Hov.
Michael Eric Dyson, the professor, tells MTV’s RapFix about the course:
“We look at his incredible body of work, we look at his own understanding of his work, we look at others who reflect upon him, and then we ask the students to engage in critical analysis of Jay-Z himself.”
“Well you know if you have an average size class of 30-40, and then you got 140 students signed up that tells you right there there’s an extraordinary interest. I think that’s why it’s important for young people to see that the rhetorical invention of African American culture needs to be taken seriously with one of its greatest artist.”
Dyson also states the Hov is a stand-in figure for a bigger context, also being a great means for African-American sociology.
Hip Hop has become an academic subject not too long ago. I remember taking a Hip Hop course to fulfill my social studies requirement and how enjoyable that class was. From my experience, I learned about the origins of the genre, the sampling, the social outcry and conditions that spawn this style of music. Also we touched lightly on different rappers and their influence. However having a whole course dedicated to an artist is a true honor.
The course material includes Jay’s Decoded, Adam Bradley’s Book of Rhymes, and Zack O’Malley Greenburg’s Empire State of Mind. Sometimes I wish I could go back to undergrad life!
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