Talkin’ Shit: The History of Hip-Hop
Instructor: Kamasi Hill
January 26, February 2, and February 9, 2021
8:30 PM Eastern / 5:30 PM Pacific
Each session will run between 2 and 2.5 hours
Each session will be recorded and immediately available for streaming for participants who are unable to attend a session
This course examines the origins and rise of one of the most prolific yet misunderstood forms of popular culture in American history.
Throughout its rise from the streets of the South Bronx to global pre-eminence, hip-hop has consistently challenged the norms of “respectable” society with its relentless critique of authority and hierarchies, volatile discourse, and unabashed celebrations of material culture and the pleasures of the body.
This course will analyze hip-hop as an art form, dig into the content and impact of its artists and songs, explore its impact on society, and examine what it reveals about the culture and world we live in.
Session 1: Tuesday, January 26, 8:30 PM Eastern
- Working-class culture in Jamaica and the United States
- The history and culture of “toasts”
- Post-Vietnam New York City and the rise of hip-hop before rap
Session 2: Tuesday, February 2, 8:30 PM Eastern
- Hip-Hop as a response to black respectability, drugs, and religion during the Reagan Era
- Lynne Cheney, Al Sharpton, feminists, and other enemies of hip-hop
- The promise and limitations of “conscious” rap
Session 3: Tuesday, February 9, 8:30 PM Eastern
- Gangsta Rap and the irony of the decline of violence
- Sexual agency and the misplaced discourse around gender
- Hip-hop in the 21st century and its transnational impact