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POL 297D Hip Hop Politics: A Music Movement, Civic Engagement, and the First Amendment

Course Description: In just under three decades, Hip Hop has evolved from Bronx based block parties to the high rise offices of multi-national corporations. Hip Hop is now a nearly billion dollar industry, and most recently, a re-emerging viable political movement aimed at organizing the minority, poor, and youth vote. The course will utilize core tenants of an emerging critical Hip-Hop pedagogy to examine this movement's history and political implications-- from the first National Hip Hop Political Convention in 2004, to Russell Simmons' voter mobilization in 2004, to Bling vs. Blood Diamonds ("Diamonds," Kanye West, 2005), to the Hip Hop based organizing for Katrina victims and the Jena 6, to the 09/07 Hip Hop hearings on Capitol Hill. We will also explore Hip Hop's impactful influence on the on-going debate regarding expansive First Amendment rights for all. The course is ideal for students interested in a relevant, culturally and legally inclined look at domestic and international politics.


3 credits