Rap and Politics: Exploring the Rise of Rap Music as a Response to Worsening Local Conditions in 25 US (and Nearby) Locations

This seminar emphasizes the different political, economic, and social conditions faced by Black Americans in the aftermath of the Civil Rights Movement, and centers on rap music’s unique ability to weaponize the voice as an instrument in response to worsening local conditions. In particular, we will look at 25 local, underground rap music scenes in the U.S. (with approximately five regions). To do so, each seminar participant will be assigned a specific reading (and/or multimedia playlist) about a specific rap city or location. Each participant will be part of a regional team of five participants and will meet with their group during our seminar for some active engagement! The seminar will act as a live forum to do active listening and content analysis, explore themes and build upon frameworks discussed in readings, and Q&A into how to develop activities and content similar to the material presented in the seminar.