As Hip Hop continues to expand, its reach finds its way into undergraduate classrooms.
One such classroom is Professor Michael Eric Dyson’s Georgetown course, SOCI-124-01 or “Sociology of Hip-Hop – Urban Theodicy of Jay-Z.”
“This class is about the politics, the culture, the racial dimensions, the class dimensions, the economic dimensions of Hip Hop culture seen through a figure like Jay-Z.” said Dyson an an interview with The Washington Post.
“This is not a class meant to sit around and go, ‘Oh man, those lyrics were dope,’ ” explains Dyson, who penned the book Know What I Mean? Reflections on Hip-Hop, which features an introduction from Jay-Z and an afterword from Nas. “We’re dealing with everything that’s important in a sociology class: race, gender, ethnicity, class, economic inequality, social injustice…. His body of work has proved to be powerful, effective and influential. And it’s time to wrestle with it.”
“I’m a tweener, man! I couldn’t march with Dr. King and them. And I’m too old to be a Hip Hopper,” added Dyson, who sees his role as bridging the gap between generations of music listeners that often don’t see eye-to-eye. “But I’ve been granted honorary status in each generation…. I see my tongue as a bridge over which ideas can travel back and forth.”