Hip Hop, Popular Music and Education
The History of Hip Hop -- a brief and useful overview article.
Hip Hop History 101 -- more good articles and links.
Re-Imagining Teaching and Learning: A Snapshot of Hip-Hop Education -- This report presents the findings of a 2010-2011 national online census of Hip-Hop Education courses and programs as they relate to the current developmental state of the Hip-Hop Education field. The research was conducted by the Hip-Hop Education Center in collaboration with the Metropolitan Center at the Steinhardt School for Education, Culture, and Human Development, with a seed grant from the Nathan Cummings Foundation. The census was designed to increase the understanding of the courses and programs that exist to support the professional and economic development of the field of Hip-Hop Education.
Hip Hop: Today's Civil Right's Movement? -- a good radio program about the political nature and power of Hip Hop.
The Hip Hop Classroom -- a website created by Oakland (CA) Unity High School teacher, Daniel Zarazua -- includes lesson plans and ideas, information, and more in support of the effective use of hip hop in the classroom.
The Hip Hop Circuit: Teachers -- great resources and teaching ideas for teachers interested in using hip hop in the classroom to inspire, engage, and motivate students; to address important social justice issues; to teach in and across many core disciplines; and much more.
We Can Relate: Hip-Hop Culture, Critical Pedagogy, and the Secondary Classroom -- a teacher recounts his experiences using popular and underground hip-hop to teach social studies curricula. He has used Outkast, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Mystic, and others.
Hip Hop Genius: Remixing High School Education -- a YouTube video about the key ideas in the book of the same name, by Sam Seidel. The book is about the High School for Recording Arts in St. Paul, MN and about an innovative approach to education.
Can't Stop Won't Stop -- the website of Jeff Chang, author of Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip Hop Generation and Total Chaos: the Art and Aesthetics of Hip Hop -- includes a blog, an archive of Chang's writings, and more.
Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes -- a segment from Byron Hurt's documentary film, "Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes." Hurt describes himself as a lover of hip hop -- a hip hop head -- but he critiques certain aspects of hip hop to raise questions and promote critical awareness, and he exposes the often white corporate structures behind hip hop that propagate the "gangsta" and "bling" marketing images rather than supporting the more political and critically reflective kinds of hip hop.
Women in Hip Hop -- a good discussion and presentation of some important female hip hop artists and the issues they address -- includes videos and a list of recommended songs and artists.
How Women Are Portrayed in Hip Hop Videos -- a YouTube video of a debate/panel discussion about the often two-dimensional and objectified use of women in hip hop and its cultural and psychological impact -- includes journalist/author Kevin Powell, hip hop entrepreneur Irv Gotti, model Melyssa Ford, and radio show host Kendra G.
Hip Hop Images, Women, and Exploitation -- hip hop scholar and author, Dr. Tricia Rose, discusses ways in which the exploitation of women in hip is damaging to black women, all women, and all men.
bell hooks Discusses Rap -- a short YouTube clip of the scholar bell hooks in which she argues that much contemporary hip hop is a perfect example of modern colonialism because many hip hop executives are white and the main market for the music, as it's currently presented, is young white males who are sold and are enthusiastically consuming and supporting a version of hip hop that denigrates Black women and elevates the party over politics.
Educators Use Rap as a Teaching Tool -- a radio broadcast about teachers who are using hip-hop effectively to make connections between contemporary music/poetry and the classics -- scroll to the bottom of the page, click and listen.
H2A - Hip Hop Association -- an organization dedicated to promoting and using hip hop, in all its mediated forms, as a tool for education reform and social change
H2Ed -- the website of this innovative program and organization that "connects educators, social workers, parents, and youth to use Hip-Hop culture as an effective way to inform, educate, and activate youth" -- started by Marth Diaz and Tricia Wing -- soon they will have lesson plans and more at this website.
The Evolution of Rap Music in the United States -- a curricular unit plan that is part of a collection produced by the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institue -- done in 1993, this is now somewhat dated, but it still offers useful information and perspective relevant to teaching about hip-hop as a relevant and legitimate part of American history and the social studies curriculum.
Hip Hop to Shakespeare: A New Way of Teaching -- an article about using hip hop to teach the classics.
From Hip Hop to Shakespeare -- a report about an arts program that integrates hip hop, history, Shakespeare, Afro-Latin percussion, and more.
Flocabulary -- lots of lesson ideas, materials, and resources for using hip hop in the classroom -- specific to social studies, writing, math/science, and vocabulary/reading
Hip Hop Education 101 -- an article about different ways to use hip hop in schools and classrooms.
Poetry, Jazz, Rap, and Hip Hop for the Classroom -- a lesson plan.
The Poetics of Hip Hop -- a lesson plan "that can provide students with a greater understanding of rhythm, form, diction, and sound in poetry" using hip hop.
Geeksta Rap Brings Education to Music -- a radio segment about an artist/musician who "aims to get young hip-hop fans interested in engineering."
Bringing Def Poetry Jam to U.S. High Schools -- a radio interview with Russell Simmons about his work to bring Poetry Jams to high schools across the country.
Multiplication Hip Hop -- rapping the times tables.
The Exploitation of Women in Hip Hop Culture -- an article that argues: "Exploitation of women in hip-hop culture has become an accepted part of it for both the artists and audiences alike..." and, "Education is the first step in changing gender relations in the hip-hop community."
Talib Kweli -- a bio of this important hip hop artist that aptly begins, "If skills sold, Talib Kweli would have been one of the most commercially successful rappers of his time. As it was, however, the earnest MC became one of the most critically successful rappers of his time, which dawned in the late '90s when he rapped alongside Mos Def and DJ Hi-Tek as part of the group Black Star." Kweli is an excellent example of hip hop as politics, history, inventive poetry and wordplay, critically reflective insight, and musically engaging activism.
Mos Def -- a bio of another important hip hop artist who, like Talib Kweli his partner in Black Star, has produced critically insightful, political, witty,and engaging hip hop.
Public Enemy -- a hip hop group from Long Island, NY, known for its politically charged lyrics about and criticism of racism, discrimination, stereotypes in the media, and more.
The Last Poets -- a bio of this ground breaking, civil rights driven hip hop group that began in the early 1970's -- one of the early forces in hip hop and a group that shows the deep political and activist roots of hip hop. More recently, they've also worked with Common and Kanye West.
Lupe Fiasco -- hip hop with social insight and critique.
Latino Rapper Pitbull Blends Politics and Hip-Hop -- a radio segment about Pitbull who addresses social and political issues in his music and has worked hard to register young Latinos to vote.
Nuttin' But Stringz: Hip Hop Violin -- a radio segment about a pair of Julliard-trained, violin playing African American brothers who are making their own music.
The Hip Hop Violin and String Quartets of Haitian American Composer, Daniel Bernard Roumain -- a radio segment about Roumain and his hip hop compositions -- includes audio clips of his work, as performed by the Lark String Quartet.
Exploring African Hip Hop -- a radio review of CD's by two African hip hop groups whose music "embodies ways that Africans are debating their cultural identity through music."
The Original Hip Hop Lyrics Archive -- a large archive of lyrics to many important hip hop songs.
Some Good Books and Articles
Chang, J. 2005. Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip Hop Generation. St. Martin's Press.
Chang, J. (Ed.) 2007. Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip Hop. Basic Civitas Books.
Chuck D, and Jah, Y. 1997. Fight the Power: Rap, Race, and Reality. Delta Books.
Costello, Mark and Wallace, David Foster. 1990. Signifying Rappers: Rap and Race in the Urban Present. The Ecco Press.
Dimitriades, G. 2004. Performing Identity/Performing Culture: Hip Hop as Text, Pedagogy, and Living Practice. Peter Lang Pub.
Dyson, Michael Eric. 2001. Holler If Your Hear Me: Searching for Tupac Shakur. Basic Civitas Books.
Dyson, M. 1996. Between God and Gangsta Rap: Bearing Witness to Black Culture. Oxford.
Forman, M. & Neal, M. 2004. That's the Joint! The Hip Hop Studies Reader. Taylor and Francis.
Fricke, J. & Ahearn, C. 2002. Yes Yes Y'all: Oral History of Hip-Hop's First Decade. Persues Press.
George, Nelson. 1998. Hip-Hop America. Viking.
Ginwright, S. 2004. Black in School: Afrocentric Reform, Urban Youth, and the Promise of Hip-Hop Culture. Teachers College Press.
Hill, M. 2009. Beats, Rhymes, and Classroom Life: Hip-Hop Pedagogy and the Politics of Identity. Teachers College Press.
Kitwana, Bakari. 2002. The Hip Hop Generation: Young, Black and the Crisis in African American Culture. Basic Civitas Books.
Low, B. 2011. Slam School: Learning Through Conflict in the Hip-Hop and Spoken Word Classroom. Stanford University Press.
Perkins, W. 1996. Droppin' Science: Critical Essays on Rap Music and Hip Hop Culture. Critical Perspectives on the Past. Temple University Press.
Prier, D. 2011. Culturally Relevant Teaching: Hip-Hop Pedagogy in Urban Schools. Peter Lang.
Rose, T. 1994. Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America. Wesleyan University Press.
Runell, M & Diaz, M. (Eds.) 2007. The Hip Hop Education Guidebook: Vol. 1. Hip Hop Association
Seidel, S. 2011. Hip Hop Genius: Remixing High School Education. Rowman and Littlefield.
Sexton, A. (Ed.) 1995. Rap on Rap: Straight Talk on Hip-Hop Culture. Delta.
Shomari, H. 1995. From the Underground : Hip Hop Culture as an Agent of Social Change. X-Factor Publications.
Wynne, K. 2000. "This Ain't No B-Boy: Women in Hip-Hop. Clamor, April/May, p. 33-37.
Films & Videos
Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes -- a film in which hip hop fan Byron Hurt both critiques certain aspects of hip hop and exposes the often white corporate structures behind hip hop that propagate "gangsta" and "bling" marketing images rather than supporting the more political and critically reflective kinds of hip hop.
Hip Hop Colony -- a documentary about hip hop in Kenya
Hemmer, K. 2010. Look Who's Listenin': Rap, Black Culture, and Academy. MELUS.
Murray, D. 2004. Hip-Hop vs. High Art: Notes on a Race as Spectacle. Art Journal 63(2).
Sullivan, R. 2003. Rap and Race: It's Got a Nice Beat, But What about the Message? Journal of Black Studies. p. 605-622.
Rose, T. 2010. The Hip Hop Wars. Perseus Books.
Adams, Terri and Douglas Fuller. 2006. The Words Have Changed But the Ideology Remains the Same: Misogynistic Lyrics in Rap Music. Journal of Black Studies.
Bitz, Michael. 1998. Rap music and Choral education. Teaching Music.
Bruce, Heather and Bryan Davis. 2000. Slam: Hip-hop Meets Poetry, a Strategy for Violence
Intervention. The English Journal. p. 119-127.
Teacher Hopes New Course Will Make Music Education More Relevant to Students -- This news article describes a teacher who runs a class based on rap and hip-hop. This is a real life example of how successful a “rap” music class can be.
Woldu, Hilson. 1997. Teaching Rap: Musings at a Semester’s End. College Music Symposium 37. p. 65-71.
Asian Americans and hip-hop -- This article looks at the contributions of Asian-American artists to the Hip-Hop movement. It also discusses the financial-backing struggles Asian-Americans often face from executives and major labels in the music industry.
Break Dancing Across the Green Line -- This article discusses the role of Hip Hop in bringing diverse people and communities together. It talks about Rennie Harris Pure Movement Dance Company and how this dance group traveled to Palestine and Israel. This dance group did Hip-Hop workshops and learned regional dances such as Dabke, an Arab folk dance.
Lo, Amy and Lee, Benson. 2008. Planet B-Boy. Arts Alliance America.
Bboy Tutorials Bboy Remind for Strifetv -- This video shows the perspectives of Bboy Remind from Skill Methods Crew. He is a respected and knowledgeable bboy with important insights on bboying. He argues that bboying is freedom because one should be able to bring his/her own cultural backgrounds into dance. His argument is that boying/bgirling promotes multiculturalism and embraces diversity.
The Lakewood Project -- The Lakewood Project is the first high school rock orchestra created in the country. Orchestra teacher Elizabeth Hankins created this group in 2002, with help from the other music faculty, administration, and Lakewood High School Alum, George Read who offered to fund the project.
Implementing Informal Learning – Hertfordshire Institute of Education --The Hertfordshire Institute of Education is a music school that focuses on few informal process. The learning style here is entirely student centered and allows students to explore and experiment on their own, creating intrinsic motivation and self discovery.
Green, Lucy. 2008. Music, Informal Learning and the School: A New Classroom Pedagogy. Ashgate.
PS22 Chorus – Mr. B Inspiring Children Through Pop Music -- The elementary choir featured in this video is part of a public school on Staten Island, NY – it is not a Fine Arts Institute. Choir Director Mr. B. uses music to inspire his students.