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Hip Hop & Higher Education: A Curriculum Based Education

As Hip Hop Culture has progressed there have always been educators trying to funnel the culture into their respective classrooms. Today you have Hip Hop Culture at Harvard University, North Carolina Central University, the University of Virginia, and at other universities and colleges across the globe. Some educators have just added elements of the culture into their lesson plans. Private schools have allowed their children to utilize alternative curriculums that incorporate the culture as well but we have yet to see a full Hip Hop based curriculum that spans across four years in secondary schools or colleges. Colleges may offer a few classes centered on the culture however there is no college or university in the country where you can major in Hip Hop Culture. Someone who wants to be an audio engineer could major in Hip Hop Culture with concentration in music science and study sound waves, music notes, and so on. Imagine if the newest wave of emcees majored in English & Literature before releasing an album.

Our education system in this country has been broken for some time due to testing and the almighty dollar. We have to start supplementing our children’s education at home. I know some of you may do that but there are a lot of us who couldn’t tell anyone what their child’s homework was on last night. Education is a top priority here at The Society and this basic need is not being met in our communities. I know some kids work in order to help out at home but most of those youths live in the home with an able bodied person meaning while some child is working a job instead of studying the adult in the home is working a part-time job and sitting on their butt the rest of the day. We all know or have known someone who will quit a job simply because it will reduce their monthly food stamp income. Adults need to be educated too! A wise man knows that he knows nothing at all. No man or woman is ever too old to stop learning. If we could have someone (like myself) write a curriculum based completely on Hip Hop Culture it could be a real game changer in academia.

The majority will fight the curriculum tooth and nail simply because they didn’t do it first. The majority have been downplaying our institutions of higher learning for generations so a Hip Hop curriculum at one of our prestigious Historically Black Colleges and Universities would not be any different. What will differ is the enrollment rates, interest in college, improved attendance at secondary schools, graduation rates, and so on. If I would have known in college that I could major in Hip Hop Culture I would have made sure my grades in high school were better than they were when I graduated! Attendance is half the battle in education. Hip Hop is more than a performance art it is also a liberal art and we can use that to fast track our young people out of the hood instead of turning to the military or a life of crime. With no real role models in the hood it’s not farfetched to believe that most young people want to be Rappers or in the entertainment industry all together but what position would you want your young person to hold?

“If the truth is told, the youth can grow. They learn to survive until they gain control” –Nas (I Can)