An American Division I university in the south has just added one of the most influential music genres and subcultures to its undergraduate curriculum.
According to HipHopDx.com, Georgia Technical University (Georgia Tech) in Atlanta is now offering a college course, which is centered around the study of hip-hop music and culture. The course is titled “Exploring the Lyrics of Outkast and Trap Music to Explore Politics of Social Justice.”
The first class went in session on January 13th, which was the first day of the Spring 2017 semester at Georgia Tech. The new course is a humanities elective and a required class for students who minor in Social Justice. Dr. Joycelyn Wilson, an Atlanta native is the Georgia Tech professor who teaches this course.
DJ Toomp, a platinum-certified hip-hop producer has been credited for introducing the original proposal to have the course taught at Georgia Tech, HipHopDx reports. DJ Toomp is well-known for producing Atlanta-based rapper T.I.’s 2006 mega hit “What You Know.” Dr. Wilson’s credentials with hip-hip culture are also well-documented.
She is a product of the Harvard Hip-Hop Archive and an Emmy award-nominated documentary film producer. In an exclusive statement she shared with HipHopDx, Dr. Wilson talked about the new class she teaches and how the experience resonates with her students.
“My students are majors in engineering, economics, public policy, media and communications, and biomedical sciences. They all have a sensibility towards Hip Hop and a special affinity for trap music,” Dr. Wilson told HipHopDx in her statement.
“I have a math degree, so I can understand and relate to their undergraduate experiences at Georgia Tech while attempting to make sense of what’s happening around them culturally,” she continued.
Dr. Wilson also talked about how the city she is a native of has influenced a distinct point of view toward rap music.
“Studying Hip Hop, particularly from the Atlanta perspective, we are able to explore trap as an ideology of self-determination, social justice, and civic engagement,” she added.
In addition to studies about Atlanta’s hip-hop music and culture, Dr. Wilson’s course will also offer studies on other historical hip-hop music stalwarts, such as Tupac, The Notorious B.I.G., N.W.A., and Public Enemy.