Introduction to Hip-Hop Music and Culture: What is hip-hop and
how is it distinguished from rap? What is hip-hop’s significance in American
In-Class Video: “20/20 News Documentary on Rap Music”(1980)
The Evolution of Hip-Hop
(a) Historical and Social Context, The South Bronx:
What were the social, economic and political circumstances that gave birth
to hip-hop culture?
Web site: Unit 1
Readings: Light, 13-15/18-21; 16-17; 69-71/74-78; 53-59; 35-41
(b) Cultural Roots: Africa and the African Diaspora (oral
traditions, performance styles and
Web site: Unit 2 and Unit 3
musical genres): How is hip-hop connected to a cultural and musical
continuum of Africa and the African Diaspora?
Readings: Light, 3-10; 351-359
Assignment--Video: Segment from either Wild Style (1982), or Style
Wars (1983) - Media Center
Hip-Hop on Vinyl: Stylistic Diversity: In what ways does hip-hop
reflect diversity in African American lifestyles, music and cultural traditions?
Web site: Unit 4
(a) The Commodification of hip-hop
Readings: Light, 23-32; 43-50
b) Concepts and changing definitions of the “Old School”
Readings: Light, 84-85; 111-119 // Perkins 49-61
(c) Old School in Transition (1982-1984)
Readings: Light, 101-107; 63-67; 81-83,86-89; 91-93,96-99
New School Hip-Hop, 1984-present: When and how did hip-hop music
cross-cultural, mass-marketed commodity?
of LYRICS DUE: Tuesday, January 29, 2002
Web site: Unit 5
(a) Economic Issues
Readings: Light, 153-163
(b) Overview of Styles (Lyrics and Musical Features)
Readings: Light, 121-125, 128-132; 217-225
In-Class Videos: Various artists
WEEKS 5& 6:
Hard Core Hip-Hop I: Message/Conscious Rap & Concepts of Black
Nationalism: How does hip-hop represent both a social and political
commentary and a voice of resistance? How is message or conscious hip-hop
related to the ideology of Black Power and the concept
EXAM 1: Tuesday, February 12, 2002
Web site: Units 6-8
Readings: Light, 145-151; 165-169, 172-175, 187-191,194-198 //
In-Class Videos: McNeal-Leaher "Rap Music" (1990); and “Black Panthers”
segment from Eyes on the Prize II: Power (1967-1968) ? Media Center &
WEEKS 7 & 8:
Hard Core Hip-Hop II: Gangsta and X-Rated—Real or Imagined:
What are the social roots of Gangsta and X-rated Hip-Hop and how can we
relate these forms to African American folk traditions?
1 DUE: Tuesday, February 26, 2002
Web site: Unit 9
Readings: Light, 251-253,257-262; 297-305; 319-325 // Perkins,
In-Class Videos: Interviews with Gangsta and X-Rated Rappers - AAAMC
Keeping It Real? Issues of Authenticity: Violence, Misogyny, Homophobia
& Censorship: What are some of the issues related to the representation
and exploitation of rap music? Why did groups rally to censor hip-hop music?
Web site: Units 10 & 11
Readings: Light, 265-273 // Perkins 236-254
Assignment--Video: Segment on Miami’s Black Community from Eyes On
the Prize II, Back to the
Movement (1979-Mid-1980s) Media Center & AAAMC
In-Class Video: Rivera Live “Gangsta Rap” - Media Center & AAAMC
2 DUE: Thursday, March 7, 2002
WEEKS 10 & 11:
Issues of Representation: Women as Subject and Object in Hop-Hop:
How are women represented in hip-hop and how do they represent themselves?
What is the role of spiritually and/or religion in hip-hop culture?
Web site: Units12-13
Readings: Light, 177-184; 209-215; 373-377, 380-383
Videos: Segments from interviews with women rappers - AAAMC
Turntablism / Rap Fusion: R&B-Hip Hop, New Jazz Swing: In
what ways are hip-hop deejays creative artists? / How has hip-hop culture
and music influenced other African-American popular music traditions?
EXAM 2: Tuesday, March 26, 2002
Web site: Unit 20 / Unit 14
Readings: Light, 170-171; 307-316
Hip-Hop in Global Spaces: Issues of Representation and Identity:
has hip-hop culture and music influenced new forms of youth expression
throughout the world? How do we discuss notions of cross-cultural artistic
Web site: Unit 15
Readings: Light, 361-365, 368-369
(a) Latino Culture: How has hip-hop influenced new expressions
in Latin culture and music?
Web site: Unit 16
Readings: Light, 116-119; Perkins 63-105
Hip-Hop in Global Spaces
(a) African Culture-Nigeria: How has hip-hop influenced
new expressions in Nigerian
Web site: Unit 17
culture and music?
(b) Dutch Culture: How has hip-hop influenced new expressions
in Dutch culture and
Web site: Unit 18
Video: Hip-Hop in the Netherlands - AAAMC
White Rappers: Issues of Representation and Identity: How has
White rappers and mainstream America?
Web site: Unit 19
Readings: Light, 121-127 // Perkins 182-208
Videos: White Rappers ? AAAMC
WEEK 16: FINAL EXAM 5:00-7:00pm, Thursday, May 2, 2002
NOTE: In this class, you should not be
concerned with POLITICAL CORRECTNESS. This course seeks to explore and
analyze DIVERSE perspectives on rap music. Assignments are designed to
encourage critical thinking and to develop analytical and writing skills.
Feel free to take issue with concepts presented in the lectures, readings,
videos and discussions. ALL POSITIONS ARE VALID AS LONG AS THEY CAN BE
SUBSTANTIATED BY OBJECTIVE DATA (documented facts, proven theories, statistics,
etc.). You may bring CD's and cassette tapes to class for discussion.
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