Hip Hop Music and Culture



Course Number





Course Description

Students in this course will examine hip hop music and culture as an artistic and social phenomenon with emphasis on historical, economic and political contexts. Discussions will include the social, economic, and cultural conditions that led to the founding of the music in New York City in the 1970s, the historical and continuing co-existence of various hip hop styles and their relationship to the music industry and broader cultural issues, and controversies resulting from the expansion of hip hop music and culture as a commodity for national and global consumption. Our work in this course will focus on the history of social and cultural issues as they relate to hip hop music and culture—it is not meant to be a music appreciation class. It is also the aim of this course to enable students to more clearly understand their own participation in this global music culture and to more closely consider the role of music in their own lives and cultural practices as well as in the lives of others both at home and far away.

Texts: Rap and Hip Hop Culture by Fernando Orejuela (2015), Rap Music and Street Consciousness by Cheryl L. Keyes (2004), and Hip Hop Africa edited by Eric Charry (2012)


Winter 2018