Guess who’s inspiring students in the classroom? Kendrick Lamar’s magnum opus, good kid, m.A.A.d city, spawned an incredible amount of accolades upon its initial release. Now, to take things a step further, Kendrick’s candid lyrics have crossed over to the classroom. In an interview with HipHopDX, class instructor, Adam Diehl of Georgia Regents University in Augusta revealed why he opted to use Kendrick’s album as a source of inspiration for his class and why he considers him to be the James Joyce of hip-hop.
The English class revolves around making their students “become a better writer, a better reader, a better analyzer, a better person, and a better appreciator of the language of the street: hip-hop.”
Diehl then elaborated in his reasoning behind using Kendrick’s album in conjunction to other works, including Boyz In The Hood, James Joyce, and James Baldwin, and Gwendolyn Brooks, for his class.
“I was given the opportunity to create my own theme for the class,” Diehl says. “I decided to center the class on good kid, m.A.A.d city because I think Kendrick Lamar is the James Joyce of hip-hop–i.e. in the complexity of his storytelling, in his knowledge of the canon, and in his continuing focus on the city of his upbringing—Compton.”
He continued, “The course is a freshman composition course, so I am teaching these works (i.e. [James Joyce's] A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Gwendolyn Brooks’ Selected Poems, James Baldwin’s Going to Meet the Man, Boyz N The Hood, and good kid, m.A.A.d city) in the context of writing a research paper about one of the issues involved in the texts (e.g. gang warfare, police brutality, racism, incarceration rates, human trafficking, etc.). The class will hopefully produce much discussion about the issues that Joyce/Baldwin/Brooks/Singleton/Lamar raise, and hopefully the content of the class will inspire students to find an outlet to bring some sanity to our own mad city–Augusta.”
The class, which started yesterday at the university, will be part of the Fall Term.
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