Overview

Use your passion for rap and dive into its highly controversial and influential culture, exploring its lasting effects on popular culture and society.

When Chuck D declared that rap music was “the CNN of the Ghetto,” he rescued the genre from those who deemed it valueless and deviant and also set the tone for many of the debates concerning rap’s role within popular culture.

Thirty years after his declaration, the question of rap music’s influence is indisputable: rap is still wildly popular, and its formal techniques have leaked into nearly every genre of popular music. Nevertheless, its role within our lives remains haunted by Chuck D’s declaration. Does rap’s value, for example, rest within its ability to convey information about “the Ghetto”? What is the role of race, gender and class? Given the political implications of Chuck D’s analogy, what is one to make of a song that is not explicitly political in nature and just makes us feel good? In this course, students will explore these questions and the debates that rise out of them.

This course is for both fans of rap and those who want to think about the ways that recorded music serves as a hub around which many different conversations can and do occur. As such, the class welcomes all students—from those who have no background in rap to those who are practitioners within the field.

Site Visits:
This is a new course. Possible site visits include:

  • Historic sites such as parks and venues (closed and current)
  • Grandmaster Caz Hip Hop tours
  • Studios, radio stations
  • Archival sites and museums such as Schomburg Center, Urban Think Tank

Guest Speakers:
Possible guest speakers on this subject include:

  • Music artists and practitioners
  • Radio and music industry professionals
  • Journalists, archivists and scholars
  • Record producers

Cost and Session Information

Day Program: $5,150*
Residential Program: $5,750*

Dates: June 9 - June 21

LOCATION New York City

*Listed program costs do not include course-specific lab and materials fees. Learn more on our website.

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