University of Wisconsin: Hip Hop 101
As rapper Rick Ross has continuously stated, it is deeper than rap, and Hip-Hop is far more than just a genre of music. The University of Wisconsin-Madison is in the process of integrating the art form into its school as it will be devoting its fall semester to the scholarship and art of Hip-Hop.
The semester will be filled with university and college experts that specialize in the academic field of Hip-Hop and will provide knowledge as well as incite on topics such as history, women’s studies, communication arts and sociology.
Starting Monday, the emerging new curriculum featured American Book Award winner Jeff Chang and Drake University professor Mark Anthony Neal as speakers. Neal teaches African and African American studies and is especially fluent in popular culture.
Chang is an American journalist and music critic on Hip-Hop music and culture who won the American Book Award in 2005 for Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, which chronicled the early Hip-Hop scene. He also wrote the book, Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip-Hop, which is an anthology of essays and interviews that document that impact of the craft far past the music. Chang has actually held panel discussion to further delve into the topic.
Switching into 6th gear, other speakers will be Hip-Hop feminist Rachel Raimist from the Universiry of Albama and Lavie Raven, who is a social studies and language arts instructor from the Multicultural Arts School in Chicago.
Raimist is also a filmmaker, scholar, community organizer as well as holding other titles. She is most known for Nobody Knows My Name, a documentary about women in Hip-Hop. She was also the Videographer/Editor of the award-winning movie Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme.
The culture of Hip-Hop has evolved far past two turntables and a mic or a DJ and a hype man. It has become a trend as well as a lifestyle that has impacted social classes in ways nobody would have ever imagined when it first emerged. Although it has been scrutinized by some for the negativity that it promotes, Hip-Hop has overall created change and has created a bridge to connect the gap between differences in people whether it is age, color, religion or other things which has set this World apart from one another.