Monday, September 16, 2013
Becoming a Rap Genius (Literature course for Spring 2014)
Mondays & Wednesdays, 1:30 - 2:45pm
Professor: Howard Rambsy II
Remember when you first became a rap genius? Maybe you were the one in your crew who knew all the lyrics by heart. Or, perhaps you were the one who could break down all the lines and explain what was really being said. In just about any debate about the top 5, your picks were always right. Those were the good old days of knowing hip hop. Now, large numbers of people display their lyrical IQ by annotating words, phrases, and ill verses on Rap Genius, a popular website described by some as the “Wikipedia of rap.”
Like any other mild-mannered African American literature course, ours will involve sharpening our skills by reading, analyzing, discussing, and writing about works by black writers. Alas, our class will be a little different, and I dare say, cooler. With RapGenius as a focal point, we will examine the art of annotation while utilizing an interactive digital platform to develop our skills engaging works by Frederick Douglass, Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, Nikki Giovanni, Amiri Baraka, and, oh yeah, some rappers.
In the classroom, the goal will be for us to become better literature students with the skills to usefully decipher texts. In the process, we’ll update our definitions of what it means to become a rap genius.
Course listing on RapGenius site
A Notebook on RapGenius