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The Rise of Hip Hop Music: From America's Urban Centers to the Heart of American Culture

Hip hop music is the most popular genre in American pop culture. Over the past 40 years, this beat-driven music, fueled by the street-centric poetry of rap, has gone from a New York-based musical form to the sociopolitical voice of the post-civil rights generation and, ultimately, the primary musical outlet of American youth. This course will look at the rise of hip hop music and culture through its game-changing icons—from the Furious Five to Salt-N-Pepa to Kendrick Lamar—and the music’s various paths toward mainstream American culture. Decade by decade, we will explore—through articles, songs and lyrics, and excerpts from books such as Somebody Scream! and Can’t Stop Won’t Stop—how hip hop pioneers reflected both the music’s evolving thoughts on American racial and gender politics and the genre’s push for national respect on its own terms.

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You'll Walk Away with

  • Familiarity with the origins and the key pioneers of hip hop music
  • An understanding of the evolving cultural significance of hip hop

Ideal for

  • Anyone with an interest in music and cultural history
  • Those seeking greater cultural and racial literacy
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.