Hip Hop Academy

28Jul09

Want to know some of the great things that Skip Gates is getting accomplished at Harvard?

The Hiphop Archive at Harvard University was officially established in 2002. It found its permanent home in the Du Bois Institute January 2008. The Hiphop Archive’s mission is to facilitate and encourage the pursuit of knowledge, art, culture and responsible leadership through Hiphop.

Huh? Art, culture and knowledge in the same sentence as Hip Hop?

We are uncompromising in our commitment to build and support intellectually challenging and innovative scholarship that both reflects the rigor and achievement of performance in Hiphop and transforms our thinking and our lives.

You doin ho activities
With ho tendencies
Hos are your friends, hoes are your enemies
With ho energy to do whacha do
Blew whacha blew
Screw whacha screw
Yall professional like DJ Clue, pullin on my coat tail
an why do you think you take a ho to a hotel?
Hotel everybody, even the mayor
Reach up in tha sky for tha hozone laya
Come on playa once a ho always
And hos never close they open like hallways
An heres a ho cake for you whole ho crew
an everybody wants some cuz hoes gotta eat too

This is Harvard University! Considered the beacon of liberal arts education for the nation and the world! They need Hip Hop to invigorate their intellects.

Hiphop’s incursion into higher education took place within the same tradition as Black Studies, Chicano Studies, Asian American Studies, Women Studies, etc… as they listened and participated in hiphop culture, they also recognized the emergence of theories, ideas and critiques that reinvigorated intellectual debates and challenged societies and nations to address issues of justice, freedom and equality. Researchers are also interested in how hiphop incorporates and critiques culture and society and especially issues of representation and power.

Why is Harvard engaging so proudly in the celebration of the debased?

Hiphop is concerned with the major questions of philosophy, identity, ideology, art and existence. It is also interested in how oppressed people and voices move into dominant culture and often create a space for themselves.



5 Responses to “Hip Hop Academy”

  1. 1 aestar101

    Believe it or not hip-hop has meaning. Listen closely and to the right songs.

  2. 2 yconteh

    Yes, art, culture and knowledge can definitely be in the same sentence as hip hop. Hip hop as a whole is rooted in the expression of African people through dance, writing, and spoken word. Hip hop incorporates the struggles, history, obstacles, and hopes of African people. Before it was hip hop, it was jazz and blues. Before that it was jazz and blues, it was the griots in Africa delivering a much needed message to people over a rythmic beat. Hip hop did not just fall from the sky. The artform has evolved over time as Africans adapted to new environments, and ways of life in America. Yes, not all of it is good, but what artform is. If it wasn’t for the evolution of african music in America, many aspects of american culture would not exist.

  3. 3 ER

    Does Gates do hip-hop? I want to see that. Maybe he will after he has a few beers with Obama. Maybe all three of them will.

  4. “If it wasn’t for the evolution of african music in America, many aspects of american culture would not exist.”

    So all art forms must be equal, then, eh? The ugly and destructive deserve the same reverence and stature in our society as those that uplift and inspire? There is nothing Beethoven could have done to make his music a greater gift to history than Brittany Spears? A Big Mac with cheese did not fall from the sky either, but I’ll still take a cheeseburger from Mr. Bartley’s Burger Cottage.

  5. 5 Brian

    The “Academy” reflects the degradation of the general culture. The flourishing of Gates and his hip-hop archive has less to do with recognition of alternate cultural forms than it has to do with the nonsensical and unprecedented idea that everything is worthy of academic specialization and study. Only a materially rich society in decline could and would lavish resources on junk.


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