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Posted by Robert
Rap News Network
9/17/2003 6:58:01 PM

Tags and topics realted to this article include 50 Cent.

A new hip-hop class is raising eyebrows and surprising students with how in-depth it is.

Hip-hop culture is the subject of the newest class offered by the Center for Black Studies. The class offers a chance to learn about all the hip-hop artists people may enjoy listening to.

The hip-hop culture class is offered from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday nights.

“We are looking at hip-hop as a whole,” said LaVerne Gyant, director of the Center for Black Studies. “This is the first semester we have made the class a permanent class, so we can control the number of students. We have about 40 students in the class.”

Books used in the class include “Hip Hop America” by George Nelson, “Black Noise” by Tricia Rose, “Hip Hoptionary” by Alonzo Westbrook and supplemental readings.

“So the students are getting an intellectual actuality of the cultural and social aspects of what hip-hop is all about,” Gyant said. “Most students believe that hip-hop is something that just happened back in the ’70s. When we talk about 50 Cent, we talk about what he has done compared to what Run DMC has done. The students have to understand even though hip-hop is a new phenomenon, the idea of storytelling with music has always been around, particularly in the connection with R&B and jazz.”

Sophomore communication major Charise Turner said she has mixed feelings about this class.

“I think we shouldn’t have gone so far back,” she said. “We should have started at the late ’70s, early ’80s.”

Turner said she enjoys the class.

“You go in expecting something, and you never really get what you expect,” she said. “I guess going so far back will give me a lot of information about things that I am going to need to know for my major.”

Junior communication major Raquel Taylor said the class is very different for her.

“I thought we were going to analyze what the rappers talk about now,” Taylor said. “I can kind of see why our professor thinks that this is important for us to learn. If we plan on learning about hip-hop, we really should know where it comes from.”

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