This fall, University of Missouri will be offering for a second time “Jay-Z and Kanye West,” a class that focuses on the relationship between the two rappers, consequenceofsound.com reports.
Offered through the English department, the class’s instructor says that Jay Z and Kanye West should be considered poets.
“I really do think that these guys are warming up to the level of major poets, and not many people think of it in those terms,” says Andrew Hoberek, the class’s instructor. ”Because it’s not just on a page, but it’s video art, too. So, we looked at how those complicated the questions, and how do books about poetry help us to understand rap with Jay and Kanye at the forefront. We looked at the larger history of rap as an art form. Specifically, how, especially with Blueprint 3 and Yeezus, there’s an identifiable push to get beyond what’s happening in the art form. They’re very much like painters and novelists in the 20th century, moving beyond the confines of the art form’s boundaries.”
In an article on the class, time.com agrees that Jay Z and Kanye West’s work has moved beyond just the musical realm. “Jay Z and Kanye’s projects are now multidisciplinary, mingling visual and performance arts as integral elements of their albums and concerts, to a greater extent than their predecessors,” the article says. “And their collaborations inform their solo projects. All of this is worth exploring in an academic setting.”
Jay Z and Kanye West have collaborated extensively throughout the last decade-plus, including the joint Watch The Throne album in 2011.