University of Arizona

University of Arizona Introduces First Ever Hip-Hop Minor


(AllHipHop News) The University of Arizona recently announced that it has created a “Hip-Hop Concentration” in the College of Humanities’ minor for Africana Studies, reportedly the first of its kind for the institution.

According to the description of the minor and its objectives, the University of Arizona seeks to  “provide students with a solid introduction and broad understanding of the origins and developing of the forms of expression that make up Hip-Hop cultures throughout the world: Hip-Hop dance, rap music, graffiti/tagging, fashion, business, and film. The Minor introduces students to the main themes represented in Hip-Hop cultures: appropriation and defense of spaces, mixing of different cultures, migrations, multilingualism, race, class, gender, religions, sexuality, nationality, politics and the economy, and, the search for identity.”

“The UA is more open to new, challenging, ambitious, creative and even controversial topics than almost any other university in the world,” Alain-Philippe Durand, director of Africana Studies at the University of Arizona explained. “Here, you are not told to stay in your corner. It is the opposite: You are constantly pushed and encouraged to break boundaries.””

Courses for the minor include Rap, Culture and God, Hip-Hop Cinema, US & Francophone Hip-Hop Cultures, Blacks in Hollywood, Pan-African Dance Aesthetics and a host of other classes geared towards African-American studies and African-American History.

Ultimately the course seeks to give students the opportunity to investigate Hip-Hop’s cultural impact, which the University of Arizona acknowledges “severely impacted many elements of mainstream American culture to the extent that corporations have embraced hip-hop music and artists as a means of marketing goods to everyone.”

 For more on the minor at the University of Arizona check it out here: Minor in Africana Studies with Concentration in Hip-Hop Cultures 

  • I think that it is a great idea…..Just make sure the story is told properly.

    • MiiUziWeighsATon

      If Kool Herc, Bambaataa, Afrika Islam, Grandmaster Caz or any other founding fathers arent teaching this course just know the story will not be told properly….the course will probably start and end with Eminem

      • Opposite Of Everyone

        brings to mind what greg tate said about authenticity and how the concept of realness went out the window as soon as Hip Hop was taken to the market.

      • True

  • disqus_cE0yLqSbi3

    Word to Dior

  • Opposite Of Everyone

    I’m interested to know in what way they percieve ‘business’ an element of hip-hop.
    Is there any aspect of ‘hip-hop business’ that isn’t just based on pre-existing capitalist models ?

    • Great question…I would also like to know out of all places in NYC, the University of Arizona is the first to think about something like this?

    • egwillim

      Hip Hop has transformed the way many industries do business. Mixtapes, for example changed the music industry. They addressed the issue that people weren’t buying music anymore and created an environment that developed a relationship between the musician and the listener, so when the artist needs support for album, concert ticket, or merchandise sales, the listener is more likely to purchase because they have a pre-established relationship with the customer based on free music… But I’d be extremely impressed if their course covers things like that because that would mean our culture would actually have to give Hip Hop credit for its successes.

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  • hoeyuno

    Thats cool…

  • egwillim

    I feel like the courses were put together by someone who doesn’t understand Hip Hop… Hop Hip is not an African-American culture… Its an “American” culture… Yes, many of the founders were African-American and many of the elements in Hip Hop can be traced back to African roots, but I think we forgot about the Americans of other cultural backgrounds that have made Hip-Hop into what it is today. Shouldn’t “Hip Hop Cinema” cover the same things that “Blacks in Hollywood” does minus the things that don’t relate to Hip Hop? I think that it is an insult to Hip Hop to claim it is only a culture pertaining to one race. Hip Hop brings cultures together, like how a Jewish kid from NYU named Rick Rubin teamed up with an African American from Queens named Russell Simmons to build the largest Hip-Hop record label in the world. I feel like these courses look at Hip Hop at a very elementary level and couldn’t begin to dive into the cultural impact that Hip Hop has on the world as a whole.

    • William E Mackson

      Peace, why isn’t it? Because others has joined in on Hip Hops influence it doesn’t take away the ones who are the pioneers of its existence. It’s has always been a practice in America to remove Black peoples possession of GREAT things. IT WON’T HAPPEN THIS TIME IF I CAN HELP IT. Any one can enjoy Hip Hop but, understand this, BLACK PEOPLE created HIP HOP! Peace!

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