Culture, Economic, Social and Political Conditions

Course Objectives : This course is a lower division general education course designed to fulfill the Arts and Humanities, compartment of the Subject Explorations G.E. requirement.
More specifically the course objectives are:
• To examine the roots of Hip Hop culture, the economic, social, and political conditions in which it developed and the cultural context in which it still exists.
• To gain a familiarity with the names and personalities of Hip Hop’s most important pioneers, promoters and artists.
• To examine various “musical” aesthetics or values and discuss how they may or may not apply to “rap.” To acquire the appropriate vocabulary necessary to analyze or criticize ”rap” as purely music.
• To discuss the effect the record industry, technology, and the media have had on Hip Hop culture and vice-versa.
• To discuss and think critically about the role that Hip Hop and other forms of popular music may have in documenting, creating, or solving the social, moral and political issues of our time.
• To point out corollaries between Hip Hop and other styles of African American music and entertainment and to view how these styles have historically been commercialized and appropriated as symbols of youthful defiance by both whites and blacks. In fact, the course will view Hip Hop as part of a recurring cycle of African American styles that have been appropriated by the music industry and white pop culture.

Final Project : The idea is to produce a research paper, a newspaper editorial, an essay, a CD review, a feature article for a trade magazine, a work of graffiti art, or perhaps even a short video or audio. The project should reflect a great deal of detail, extra research, and critical thought about one of the more controversial subjects suggested by the class lectures, or the text. You may use the Questions for Further Research, Thought and Discussion at the end of each chapter as a resource. Your project should examine several sides of the same issue and present the rational for different points of view. Your personal opinions and views are important, but of course the sources of your information should be properly documented.

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Textbook :
Garrett, Glen ed. Hip Hop Samples; A Historical Anthology

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