Armstrong State University in Georgia is making some people consider go back to school. Dr. Regina Bradley is offering a course studying Outkast lyrics.
Imagine if your college homework included having to go back and memorize “Player’s Ball.” For a select few college students, that just may become a reality.
Armstrong State University in Savannah, Ga. is offering an high-level English course called “OutKast and the Rise of the Hip-Hop South.” The course will focus on Outkast songs and lyrics and draw parallels to the Civil Rights Movement, Black Lives Matter and social activism in general. Students will walk away with a better understanding of how Hip-Hop music, specifically from the South, can be used for political expression.
“[Outkast] were the foundation of how I came to understand my own southern blackness,” says Dr. Bradley exclusively to HipHopWired. “In the many conversations that I’ve had about Hip-Hop with colleagues, the South and our artists are consistently overlooked. I wanted to do something about that. This class is a step in that direction.
While students will be allowed and encouraged to listen to as much ‘Kast as possible, this class will not be centered around debates about who had the best verse on a song. Students will be expected to turn in a 12 to 15-page paper as their final project.
“They’ll take an album of their choice — preferably an Outkast album — and give a discussion of the themes and what they hear,” Dr. Bradley tells the Savannah Morning News.
Dr. Bradley aka the “Red Clay Scholar” is the creator of Outkasted Conversations, a digital dialogue series dedicated to discussions on the impact that Outkast’s music has had on society and culture. She also currently working on a book titled, Chronicling Stankonia: OutKast and the Rise of the Hip Hop South.
This isn’t the first time that Hip-Hop will be dissected on a college campus. Classes on Tupac Shakur have been offered at Berkley University and the University of Washington. Producer 9th Wonder has also taught Hip-Hop classes at Duke University. This class however, will be the first time that ‘Kast is the focal point.
“It is a hip hop class about a Southern group taking place in the South taught by a Southerner,” says Dr. Bradley about what sets this class apart from others. “Additionally, it is important for students to question how Hip-Hop shapes ideas and experiences in spaces outside of its bi-coastal origins. In other words, Hip-Hop takes root differently in the South. It marks modernity differently down here.”
The class is already full for the upcoming semester, so if you were interested in enrolling, you’re going have to move the back of the bus.