Sunday, January 13, 2013

University of Arizona Offers Minor in 'Hip-Hop Concentration'

Well, the university's "hip hop department" claims it won't be an easy minor, but I doubt it's going to help the "concentration" of those brothers who sign up for this scam. At the Los Angeles Times, "University of Arizona is first to offer minor in hip-hop":

Most people consider New York and Los Angeles to be the centers of hip-hop culture, but it's Tucson where students will find the first university to offer a minor dedicated to the movement.

The University of Arizona has recently added the concentration to its Africana Studies minor program. The decision is part of a trend to give serious academic study to the subject.

The curriculum is bound to be a hit with students, said Alain-Philippe Durand, interim director of the Africana Studies program. Though the concentration is new, the university has offered hip-hop courses since 2004.

Last spring, a class on hip-hop cinema at the university filled up in a matter of hours. Students then began emailing the teacher in an attempt to add the course.

"Rap and hip-hop in general has become super-popular around the world," Durand said. "The main reason for that is that it affects every single discipline and aspects of society."

News of the minor is exciting, said Steven Pond, associate professor and chairman of the Cornell University's music department. Cornell is at the forefront of applying serious study to the hip-hop movement, touting the largest hip-hop collection of music recordings, rare fliers, artwork, photography and other memorabilia.

"It's a very good development and an exciting one, … the idea of acknowledgment of the deep impact hip-hop has in many areas, across cultures," Pond said. "I think it's a very positive development to see hip-hop enter the academy, even if it's a decade or even a generation late."