academia…

6 Mar

just doesn’t stop.

I’m not sure how I feel about it. A thirst for knowledge is so wonderful, commendable, inspiring… but academia can be SO damn pretentious. Maybe it’s just my reaction to it, because I feel so inferior to it.

This story in today’s Chronicle gave me the creeps. Academizing hip-hop… whoa.

Hip-hop is so interesting and intellectual… it’s so study-able. I just worry about the complications that might arise when it’s turned into an academic discipline. Doesn’t it become appropriated? Doesn’t it leave the community and become something that is unconnected? For me to know, and you to find out. OR – does it attract more people to academia? Is that even a good thing?

Davey D, an emcee, hip-hop journalist and Berkeley Alum who wrote his 1987 thesis on rap, said, “You have an interesting phenomenon, where the ‘hip-hop experts,’ with university appointments attached to their name, have no credibility whatsoever in hip-hop circles. That, coupled with the fact that academia in a lot of places has always kept a distinct separation between what goes on in community and what happens on campus, is a source of tension.”

I wonder if women studies, African American studies and LGTQ studies have helped or hindered their communities. It seems like they’ve helped… though, honestly, I don’t know enough about the affects of the academization of these to comment. I’m seeing Hip-hop studies in a whole other realm though – I’m seeing white, DJ Kool Ken getting a masters in Hip-hop and I don’t like the image.

Howard Uni (in harDCore) started hip-hop studies in 1991 and now offers a minor. Currently, there are over 300 hip-hop courses taught at schools across the country. UCLA, UC Davis and U of Michigan are trying to increase the study of hip-hop on their campuses.

hmmm.

I’m worried.

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