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Georgia Tech Has a Course Dedicated to Trap Music

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Hip-hop culture has permeated every crevice of society, and college courses are no exception. Georgia Tech has a new course for its spring 2017 semester called “Exploring the Lyrics of Outkast and Trap Music to Explore Politics of Social Justice.”

The professor is Dr. Joycelyn Wilson, an Atlanta hip-hop scholar who’s done ethnographic studies at Harvard and Virginia Tech. She’s also an Emmy award-nominated documentary producer for Walking With Guns, and she appears in the VH1 documentary The Untold Story of Atlanta’s Rise In The Rap Game.

The curriculum allows students to study the sound of trap music and how it’s evolved over the years. The class will touch on big-name Atlanta artists old and young, as well as non-ATL legends including Tupac Shakur, Public Enemy and Lauryn Hill.

A major component of the course will also be about “The OUTKAST imagination,” a topic which Dr. Wilson details in a TED Talk above courtesy of YouTube.

Dr. Wilson tells HipHopDX, “My students are majors in engineering, economics, public policy, media and communications, and biomedical sciences. They all have a sensibility towards hip hop and a special affinity for trap music. I have a math degree, so I can understand and relate to their undergraduate experiences at Georgia Tech while attempting to make sense of what’s happening around them culturally. Studying hip-hop, particularly from the Atlanta perspective, we are able to explore trap as an ideology of self-determination, social justice, and civic engagement.”

She continues, “They are the next generation of STEM leaders. My hope is they can take these basic principles and fundamental truths and apply them to their work-life after graduation. That’s the overarching goal, aim and mission of the course. Hip hop is therefore the metaphor we use to examine the pedagogical implications of the music. However, it is a 40-year-old metaphor. When working with 18, 19, and 20-year-old college students, my position is we need contemporary and innovative ways to work with them. This is where the element of trap comes in.”

Hip-hop-centric college courses are becoming increasingly popular. In case you missed it, read about a new Kanye West course being taught at Washington University in St. Louis.

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