Professor Michael Eric Dyson, who teaches at the university in the US, has offered a course titled the ‘Sociology of Hip-Hop: Jay Z’, with the scholar arguing that the course will include topics found in any sociology course.
“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.”
Reading lists for the class include Hova’s autobiography ”Decoded”, while it also features mid and end term exams; Dyson’s obviously a big fan of the rapper and the course also points to his entrepreneurial dealings – the star owning both a clothes line and part owning the Nba’s New Jersey Nets.
As expected, the decision to run the course hasn’t pleased all academics, Kris Marsh – a professor at the University of Maryland – for one, questioning focusing a course in black culture on just one, saying “sometimes these artists use poetic license and blend fact and fiction to an audience that is often suburban and white. We’re not sure if it’s fiction or real life. It can be almost indistinguishable sometimes in hip-hop.”