Jul 22, 2024  
2020-2021 Catalog 
2020-2021 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

AFR 225 - Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Hip Hop


Hip Hop may be one of the largest cultural movements the world has ever experienced - a cultural movement that has influenced everything from the music to which we listen, the clothes with which we adorn ourselves and to the words we speak. However Hip Hop culture is more than the music, the fashion and the style that is popular today. It transcends the commercialized products sold to mainstream U.S. America and the around globe. How so? Why did Hip Hop emerge? What does mainstream Hip Hop today represent? This course addresses these questions by tracing the historical and political context of the formation of hip hop; its expansion into a discourse of resistance; to its more mainstream contemporary global commodification.

Hip Hop was born from racial, class and gendered divides as a way for marginalized, Black and Brown youth in the United States to share their stories and their experiences. Rooted in the struggles and voices of millions of Black and Brown youth, it served as an expression and alternative to the urban woes plaguing their lives. The early spirit of Hip Hop has been one of empowerment through artistic expression. It has enabled people to articulate the reality of their lived experiences and to share their knowledge with the world. Hip Hop through its diverse elements (B-boying/B-girling, Graffiti, DJing, MCing) is about fighting self-imposed and systemic oppression.

By tracing the philosophies, events and actors that have contributed to Hip Hop, this course simultaneously takes up the race, class, gender and sexual politics the space espouses. We will look critically at Hip Hop today, its problems as well as its possibilities. This is not a purely musical appreciation course. However, students will have ample opportunity to engage Hip Hop lyrics, videos and images throughout the span of the course.


Satisfies a major requirement for Africana Studies
Satisfies a major requirement for Gender and Sexuality Studies major and minor
Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts requirement
Satisfies the Cultural Diversity requirement