Colleges Across the Country are Offering Classes in Hip-Hop and We are Here for All of That

By Andréa Butler

Whether it’s blaring Drizzy’s Nothing Was the Same as you cruise down the freeway, rockin’ out to Jay and Bey as you get ready for school, or partying it up with friends on the weekend to throwback joints from Lil’ Kim, MC Lyte, and Yo-Yo, you’ve always been a student of hip-hop.

And now, you can get actual credit for it! Um, sign us up, too, please!

Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. has a class called, “Sociology of Hip Hop: Jay-Z.” In this class, you’ll get to go beyond admiring the surface level of Jay’s lyrical genius and delve into what he’s really saying about ethnicity, social issues, gender, and other related topics — as you jam to the baseline of some of the hottest verses rap has ever heard, of course.

At Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, you can even study Bey, herself! (For real, for real.) In a class called,Feminist Perspectives: Politicizing Beyoncé,” you’ll earn credit hours discussing how Yoncé uses her music to bring to light important social issues, such as race and gender. You’ll also have a chance to discover other Black feminist writers — and compare/contrast them to Beyoncé — like bell hooks, Sojourner Truth, and Alice Walker. Now, that’s what’s up.

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro in Greensboro, NC offers the course, “Hip Hop and Poetry.” Here, you’ll get to discover how rap music, African-American poetry, and hip-hop in general are used as political messages to help communicate what’s going on “throughout the Black liberation movement” in history all the way up to now (think along the lines of Ferguson/Mike Brown). 

At Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, students can dive right into the history of hip-hop — from old-school rappers like Grandmaster Flash and Public Enemy to female MC’s like Lil’ Kim and Nicki Minaj. Now, don’t get it twisted, this isn’t a blow-off class (and neither are the others we’ve listed), you’ll not only listen to jams new and old, but you’ll also discuss how race, gender, and sexuality play a role in the genre, as well as how hip-hop has changed over the years because of corporate control and new technologies.


Are classes like these offered at your school? Are you taking any of them? Tell us in the comments below!

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