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Hip hop education = informed artist citizens

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What follows is a spoken word piece delivered at the Suncoast Music Education Research Symposium in February of 2019 to a group of higher education faculty and doctoral students. It is the intersection of hip hop lyrics and my white privilege, effectively composed as an artistic response to demonstrate the deep knowledge contained within hip hop lyrics and the value gleaned from their critical analyses. The impetus for this piece was my desire to show the conference attendees an alternative to perpetuated and damaging stereotypes about hip hop, a problem which I perceive as the prevalent understanding of hip hop culture and the dominant critique used to oppress this beautiful art form in educational spaces. A caveat about how I chose to sample some of the lyrics is worth mentioning. In some cases, the first-person perspective of the artists, embodied by their use of ‘I’ or ‘we’ in a song, was not appropriate and lyrics were altered to ‘they’ or ‘them’. This choice was to show internal reflection rather than to imply a lived or even co-opted experience by the author. It is important to stress ‘they’ have informed ‘me’. Jvaust as listening to a piece of music would likely be more powerful than studying the score, this piece may best be received by watching the performance.
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Keywords: artistic citizenship; critical pedagogy; critical theory; discourse analysis; hip hop; informed artists

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2019

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  • The main aims of Journal of Popular Music Education, especially initially, will be iteratively to define the parameters of the field and disciplines of its readership and contributors (especially with regard to other journals in popular music and music education), this being an emerging field of scholarship and practice. The other principal aim will be to disseminate excellent critique and other forms of scholarship (e.g. phenomenological) in and related to the field. The journal will have an inclusive, global reach. 'Education' and 'popular music' are terms that we expect to be stretched and problematized through rigorous examination from multiple international perspectives.
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