The core artistic practice in Hip-Hop is the break beat, more commonly known as the sample. In the early days of the musical genre, the sample was a source of contention, as artists and record companies sued hip-hop artist for copyright infringement for the use of samples. This course approaches hip-hop as a cultural arts movement that thrived on and produced its art through modes of theft. From the break beat/sample, graffiti, the ability of sound systems to sonically invade private space, and thus allow the very words of the rapper to robbed non-hip-hop heads of their ability to not listen, theft has been a long standing artistic practice of hip-hop.
This course will explore the central artistic forms of hip-hop — the break beat, graffiti, b-boying, and its sonic levels — as practices of theft that outlined a new, radical black art form. Students in this course will analyze songs, films, and music videos as their primary texts in this course. Students will be graded on class discussions, three quizzes, two short (4-page) paper, and a final project on one of the core art forms that constitute hip-hop.
- Jeff Chang, "Can't Stop, Won't Stop." (book)
- Course packet of readings
Class discussion: 20%
Three quizzes: 30%
Two short paper: 20%
Final Project: 30%