Thus, reading an article about the research about Hip-hop and its usage in schools really peaked my interest.
I was not surprised by the fact that some American schools have used Hip-hop and rap as a connecting point to engage students. Everyday I see the eyes of my students light up when they can share their own choices of music with me in the classroom. It makes perfect sense to use such a popular music form to engage and connect students in learning.
I was particularly interested in the discussion by Petchauer (2015) about the different aspects of it, such as sampling, layering, dance and the need for ruptures in the form. Though I have taught mixing and recording in my classes, I have always wondered about how artists and composers of Hip-hop put together their unique beats and rhythms. Petchauer really clarifies for the reader about these sonic concepts through the analysis of the visual spray-painted word HIM in the article (p. 83, 84). He articulately describes the various components of it so that those, like me, who don't recognize the thoughts and messages behind it can better understand it.
This idea of being either among those who understand or an "outsider" that can't understand the meaning and message is somewhat disturbing. As it states about the deconstructed HIM graffiti, "ruptures in lines are what make pieces legible to insiders and illegible to outsiders." (p.86) As in previous readings on fandom and Star Trek, it is only those who know the content or storylines who can share in the secret communication and innuendo. Is this one of the attractive aspects about Hip-hop music and culture? Does it also foster an US verses THEM kind of mentality?
We see how some who immerse themselves in Star Trek lore use it to escape their perceived societal identity. Does Hip-hop do the opposite; provide a collective art-form to bring people together to identify with, explore and express their thoughts and feelings about their perceived societal identity?
I am eager to read and learn more.
Petchauer, Emery (2015) Starting with Style: Toward a second wave of hip-hop education research and practice. Urban Education, 50 (1), 78-105. DOI:10.11770042085914563181.