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CCOG for MUS 216 Spring 2024

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Course Number:
MUS 216
Course Title:
History of Hip Hop Music and Culture
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Examines hip hop music and culture using musicological techniques, with a focus on pre-hip hop influences, the development of the art, its eventual popularity, and contemporary artists and trends. Traces the cultural and societal impacts and connections of the music. Includes critical analysis of lyrics, as well as musical production practices. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  1. Apply musicological research and analysis techniques to describe hip hop music.
  2. Describe the diverse communities in the United States that express culture through hip hop music.
  3. Apply critical listening skills in order to analyze artistic, social, historical, and cultural contexts of hip hop musical expressions.
  4. Analyze musical works from the canon of Hip Hop music for form, texture, and content.
  5. Discuss the historical and sociopolitical contexts for the major developments in hip hop music.

Integrative Learning

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to reflect on one’s work or competencies to make connections between course content and lived experience.

General education philosophy statement

The study of music provides the opportunity to experience the art form both as listeners and as creators. It is an expression of culture developed from rich historical traditions, each with unique aesthetic and artistic values reflected through organized sound. Musicological research projects give students the opportunity to apply musicological research and analysis techniques in generating original musical analyses. Students will gain tools for thinking critically about tensions and interactions between aesthetic, historical, and cultural aspects of the music and peoples they are studying.

Course Activities and Design

Historical and stylistic survey of the music of Hip Hop from it’s formation in the South Bronx in the 1970s, emergence into U.S. and global popular culture in the 1980s and 1990s, and up to the present day. Focus on U.S. artists from the East and West Coasts, and the South. Study of the history, culture, and aesthetics of Hip Hop music serves to illuminate issues of power, politics, and race in U.S. culture of the last 40 years.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Qualitative/Quantitative examination including historical/cultural perspectives

Listening examination

Research papers and/or presentations

Class discussions that involve looking at current events through the student's understanding of hip hop culture

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Out of the ashes: development of Hip Hop culture in New York City

From Genre-less to New Genre: Rap music’s beginnings

Uptown/Downtown: exploitation of hip hop arts in commercial enterprise

The Golden Age of Hip Hop Sampling: creativity collides with litigation

Gangsta Rap’s political edge and cultural hustle

Black Nationalism and the fight for minds

G-funk and the ascendancy of bling in the 1990s

The Rise of the South

Female MCs in “a Man’s World”

Cultural capital: rap appropriations of Jazz

The Roots and the legitimation of Live Band Hip Hop

J Dilla and Neo Soul: in a brand new groove

Tripwires: Underground and mainstream hip hop in the New Millennium

Contemporary contestations: the music and meaning of Hip Hop in the 2010s