HIST 240: Hip Hop History: A Movement that Rewrote History without a Pen

Class Program
Weekly Contact Hours
Course ID
Meets Degree Requirements For
Social Science

This course examines the socio-historical/cultural origins of Hip Hop in the 1970s. Hip Hop will be used as a historical lens to examine U.S. History after WWII. Emphasis will be placed on the economic, political, and social conditions faced by individuals in urban centers.

Grading Basis

Course Learning Outcomes

Core Topics

  1. Historical Context
    1. Jim Crow South
    2. Black Diaspora
    3. White Flight
    4. Urban Renewal (Eminent Domain)
    5. Red Lining
  2. 1960-1970s
    1. Music that has something to say
      1. “People Get Ready,” Curtis Mayfield & The Impressions
      2. “Strange Fruit,” Billie Holiday
      3. “A Change is Gonna Come,” Sam Cooke
      4. “What’s Goin’ on,” Marvin Gaye
      5. “Living for the City,” Stevie Wonder
      6. “Get Up, Stand Up,” Bob Marley & The Wailers
    2. Kerner Commission: Separate and Unequal
    3. War on Drugs
    4. Failed Urban Renewal
  3. Birth of Hip Hop
    1. NYC/South Bronx
    2. External Influences
      1. Jamaican/Caribbean
      2. Boricua-Latino/a
    3. The Music of Outrage 
      1. Disco…Nah!
      2. Parallels to Punk
    4. 4 Pillars (Rapping, DJ’ing, Graffiti, & Break-Dancing)  
  4. Hip Hop 1990s to Present
    1. Lyrical Reflections
      1. Golden Era
      2. Female Lyricists
      3. “Conscious Rap”
      4. “Gangster Rap”
      5. NWA-Straight Outta Compton
      6. Public Enemy-It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
      7. 2 Pac-2Pacalypse Now
      8. Nas-Illmatic
    2. Hip Hop Style
      1. Cultural Aesthetics
      2. Dress Fresh
      3. “Money, It’s Gotta be the Shoes!”
    3. Regional Styles
      1. East Coast v. West Coast
      2. Dirty South
      3. Trap
      4. Reggaeton
    4. Incorporation/Globalization of Hip Hop
    5. Hip Hop Culture as Political Voice
    6. Female Empowerment