Speech is my hammer, bang the world into shape: making meaning in college through hip hop lyricism

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Donovan Livingston (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Leila Villaverde

Abstract: This opening line of Yasiin Bey’s (1998) critically acclaimed album, Black on both sides, exists as a sprawling opus to hip-hop. In expressing his profound appreciation for the culture, Bey (formerly known as Mos Def) constructs this nuanced, multilayered worldview through the prism of lyricism – broaching topics from climate change to critiquing capitalism, all while reflecting on life, love, and the ancestral wisdom of the elders. Within the context of education and cultural foundations, scholars of critical pedagogy often look to hip-hop as a pathway for engaging students’ self-awareness, critical thinking, and social consciousness. This arts-informed, qualitative study explores the meaning-making processes and learning outcomes of college students who identify as hip-hop artists. This study re-mixes traditional qualitative methodologies by centering hip-hop poetics and participant-analysis, as a primary means of collecting and deconstructing data. Participants were asked to record one song in response to the prompt: Describe your college experience. Together, we assess the implications for the consumption, creation, and performance of hip-hop in postsecondary education.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2020
Arts-based Research, Culture, Higher Education, Hip-hop, Qualitative Methods
Hip hop
Education (Higher)
Critical pedagogy
College students

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