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Hip Hop Cultures and Criticism

Jason King
Before 2005

What are the diverse ways of writing and thinking critically about hip hop? What kinds of sparks are produced when rap music meets academia? Because rap music tends to be based in the aural/oral, how can we produce effective writing on hip hop? This course will familiarize students with the existing canon of critical studies (writing, filmmaking, etc.) on hip hop cultures and rap music. In order to produce interventionary scholarship on hip hop cultures into the twenty-first century, we must first pay particular attention to the dazzling new forms of writing and thinking that these cultures have themselves produced since the 1980’s, even as we consider the gaps, omissions, elisions and problems engendered by some of this scholarship. Readings/screenings for this course may include work by: Houston Baker, George Lipsitz, Isaac Julien, Paul Gilroy, Joan Morgan, dream hampton, Greg Tate, Robert Christgau, Kodwo Eshun, Sasha Frere-Jones and many others.

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