In many ways, rappers including Jay-Z, Nas and Missy Elliot have influenced the clothes, cars and style of youth culture. One class that is featured for the spring semester shows how their rhymes extend further beyond the mic.
Professor and folklorist Donald Harrell teaches the “Evolution of Hip Hop,” a class that traces the music genre from its beginnings to its current fixture in modern pop culture. His interest in African-American music became a focus of his studies, and he devoted much of his research to delving into its significance. The class, which has about 20 students, is filled with people who have a shared love for the art form.
“I absolutely love hip-hop. It’s like my biggest passion,” said Matthew Desir, a radio-television senior.