The lyrics of Tupac Shakur, Jay-Z, Goodie Mob
and The Geto Boyz are being trumpeted along side John Steinbeck, F. Scott Fitzgerald,
T.S. Eliot and others.
Students on the verge of dropping out at Los
Angeles’ Crenshaw High School are being encouraged to stay in school with classes
that allow them to dissect the lyrics of the rappers.
The classes are part of a growing national trend
in the educational system that is including rap in teachers curriculum.
Two English teachers have designed a curriculum
for high school teachers, which analyzes rappers lyrics side-by-side classic
Jeffrey Duncan-Andrade of UCAL & Ernest Morrell
of MSU courses compare “Kubla Khan,” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, with
Nas’ “If I Ruled the World,” “Immigrants in Our Own Land,”
by poet Jimmy Santiago Baca, with “The World is a Ghetto,” by The
Geto Boys and T.S. Eliot’s “Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”
with “The Message,” by Grandmaster Flash.
The University of Connecticut, Penn State University,
The University Of California, Berkeley, Stanford and Michigan State University
have all offered classes on hip-hop lyrics.