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Steven Hoelscher, Chair Burdine 437, Mailcode B7100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-7277

Spring 2004

AMS 321 • Hip-Hop Nation

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
26215 T
3:30 PM-6:30 PM
BUR 212

Course Description

Let’s accept for moment that hip-hop is more than a heavily commodified form of popular expression. Let us accept for another moment that hip-hop is more than one of the most powerful forms of vernacular expression produced during the “American Century” and that this expression was largely the product of the urban landless—black and brown, underclassed, and marginalized. Let’s us accept during some other moments that hip-hop is “more brilliant than the sun” and that brilliance has been used in the service of those black and brown to give meaning to the worlds they possess and the demons that possess them—as brilliant as the lindy-hoppers, be-boppers and Soul folks that came before, who appear again and again in this thing we call hip-hop. Let us accept that hip-hop is a metaphor for a generation—x, y, post-Soul—generations that defy essentialist notions of race and urban culture (at least since Yo MTV Raps debuted in September of 1988). Let’s imagine that hip-hop is a lived aesthetic, post-modern by definition, defined by sonic, audio, televisual, digitized collages for which the ability to make new out of what already exist—no different that them old Negroes who made “a way out of no way”—is the accepted, demanded really, way of life. Examining hip-hop as part of legitimate social, cultural, and intellectual movements, The Hip-Hop Generation will explore the ways in which rap music and hip-hop culture have impacted American youth culture, particularly within the realms of music, film, television, clothing styles, politics, language, public policy, race relations, gender and sexuality and advertising. The Hip-Hop Generation will provide an over-view of the most important (popular) cultural phenomenon to emerge in the Post-Civil Rights era.


Possible Texts: Yes Yes Y’all: The Experience Music Project Oral History of Hip-Hop’s First Decade (Da Capo), edited by Jim Fricke and Charlie Ahern That’s the Joint!: The Hip-Hop Studies Reader (Routledge), edited by Murray Forman and Mark Anthony Neal Hip-Hop Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis of African-American Culture (Basic Civitas) by Bakari Kitwana New York Ricans from the Hip-Hop Zone (Palgrave Macmillan) by Raquel Z. Rivera Holler If You Hear Me: In Search of Tupac Shakur (Basic Civitas) by Michael Eric Dyson


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