Your Black News reports:
When word spread in October that Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, known for dropping a Hip Hop verse mid-conversation, was offering an in depth look into the life and times of Shawn Carter at Georgetown University, he received his share of criticism.
According to Dyson, the course, titled “Sociology of Hip Hop: Jay-Z” tackles the same topics of any sociology class: racial and gender identity, sexuality, capitalism and economic inequality. “It just happens to have an interesting object of engagement in Jay-Z – and what better way to meet people where they are?” Dyson said. “It's like Jesus talking to the woman at the well. You ask for a drink of water, then you get into some theological discussions.”
As the semester draws to a close, some students aren’t so sure Jigga-Man is worthy of academic dissection.
Stephen Wu, a junior at Georgetown wrote an opinion piece in The Hoya, the university paper where he says,“It speaks volumes that we engage in the beat of Carter's pseudo-music while we scrounge to find serious academic offerings on Beethoven and Liszt. We dissect the lyrics of “’Big Pimpin’” but we don't read Spenser or Sophocles closely.”
Hip-Hop journalist, Kevin Powell, says that no study of Jay-Z is complete without discussing his misogyny toward women and his excessive materialism. But then Steve Stoute, the former Interscope exec who was allegedly assaulted by Sean "Diddy" Combs in 1999, has spoken to the class, and he contends that the course "has practical value for those interested in business."
Whether you agree or disagree with Dyson, Jay-Z’s success is undeniable --- depending on one’s standard of success. From the streets of Brooklyn to the CEO of Roc-a-Wear clothing and part owner of the New Jersey Nets, he’s had quit a rise. Maybe, just maybe, that's something that students should be studying --- and all the negative and positive that dwell within Hip-Hop culture.
Weigh in YBNews Readers: Is a Jay-Z course academic pursuit or a waste of time?