Tuesday, 4 June 2013




Author and educator Michael Eric Dyson is decoding the rhymes of rapper Jay-Z to teach students at Georgetown University about race, gender and poverty. But critics argue lyrics about swag and hustle have no place in higher education. They further stated that the rappers life and story are unworthy of study in a University where students pay as high as $40,000 a year.

Professor Kris March of University of Maryland was interviewed and had this to say..." You can criticize Jay Z all you want to, but he is an outstanding example of the rags to riches story" She supports this move by the University as she believes courses like this communicate to young people in a way they understand.

The course, " The Sociology of Hip Hop: Jay-Z,"  analyses the life of Jay Z as if analyzing fine literature.

Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, is a worthy subject because of his diversity of business interests -- a clothing entrepreneur, he's also a part owner of the NBA's New Jersey Nets (soon to move to his native New York borough of Brooklyn) -- as well as his immense cross-cultural appeal and "lyrical prowess" in articulating contemporary black culture and his place in it.

But others have reserved concerns

Kevin Powell, who writes about hip-hop and has run unsuccessfully for Congress in Brooklyn, said any discussion of Jay-Z should account for what Powell says are the rapper's derogatory lyrics toward women and his expressions of excessive materialism. Kris Marsh, an assistant sociology professor at the University of Maryland who specializes in the black middle class, said that while she appreciated Jay-Z's cultural significance, she was wary of structuring an entire course around him and using his narrative alone to reflect black America. Though hip-hop artists can focus a lens on urban life, she said, "sometimes these artists use poetic license" and blend fact and fiction to an audience that is often suburban and white.

Lets hear your views

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