JCU Logo

JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "DMA/MUS 298"
COURSE NAME: "Survey of Hip Hop Media, Production, and Culture"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Summer Session I 2019
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Charles Burchell
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TTH 9.00-12.45 PM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS: 3
PREREQUISITES:
OFFICE HOURS: by appointment

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
This class aims to introduce you to the world of hip-hop by examining recordings, music videos, films, fashion, dance styles and other creative media relevant to the development of hip hop culture. This course will consider hip-hop as a framework for understanding community, cultural identity, entrepreneurship, and creativity. These concepts will be put into practice through audio assignments such as the creation of original music.Students will also learn the basics of digital audio production and editing software as well as practical skills for creating musical compositions.
SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:
Hip-Hop was born on August 13th, 1973 at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue. A house party turned global revolution, hip-hop is arguably the greatest musical innovation of the later half of the 20th century. More than music, hip-hop as a movement has had an undeniable impact on media and culture over the last 40 years. From graffiti on subway cars, street wear apparel intersecting with high fashion, or hip-hop centric slang entering the modern American vernacular it’s hard to dismiss hip-hop’s’ influence on the world. This class aims to introduce you to the world of hip-hop by examining recordings, music videos, films, fashion, dance styles and other creative media relevant to the development of hip hop culture. In the course, we will consider hip-hop as a framework for understanding community, cultural identity, entrepreneurship, and creativity. You will put these concepts into practice through audio assignments such as the creation of original music. You will also learn the basics of digital audio production and editing software as well as practical skills for creating musical compositions.
LEARNING OUTCOMES:
By the end of this course you will have general knowledge of various musical artists and producers who were important to the development of hip hop as a musical genre. You will develop basic proficiency in music production (recording, arranging, editing, composing,mixing). You will also have a broad sense of the social and global impact of hip-hop and how it informs the creation of new media.
TEXTBOOK:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Can’t Stop Won’t StopJeff ChangPicador978-0312425791  
Prophets of the HoodImani PerryDuke University Press978-0-8223-3446-0   
That’s The Joint: The Hip Hop Studies ReaderMurray Foreman & Mark Anthony NealRoutledge978-0-415-87236-0  
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Making Beats: The Art of Sampled Based Hip HopJoseph G. SchlossWesleyan University Publishing978-0-8195-6696-6  

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
Discussion/ParticipationStudents will be expected to have read, watched, or listened to all required material and to attend and contribute in all classes. Students will be required to present their assignments in the course and complete in-class exercises. Students will be required to comment on each others’ work critically.15
In Class Production Assignments5 music production assignments 25
MidtermStudents will be required to complete one of the following: #1 create and complete an original song with clear sections (verse, chorus, bridge, etc.). #2 Create an original video to an existing hip hop song #3 Write an essay (1200-1400 words) on of the following topics: What makes a classic hip hop album classic? Analysis of a well known hip hop producers’ style and work. Case study of a Hip Hop entrepreneur. What product(s) does this artist sell and how does their artistic and business careers interact/intersect if at all? Failure to complete this project will result in automatically failing the course. 20
Final Assignment Students will be required to complete one of the following: #1 Create a 8-15 minute mixtape of original music. # 2 Create an original music video to one of your original songs (song must contain vocals) This assignment will be reviewed in class during the exam period. Failure to complete this project will result in automatically failing the course. 25
Lyrical AnalysisStudents will have to submit a lyrical analysis (800-1200 words) of one Hip Hop song from a curated list of songs. 5
Listening JournalsStudents will be required to submit weekly journal entries related to the required listening and other materials. Entries should be 300 words or less and highlight your reflections/take -aways on the material rather than just provide a summary. 10

-ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:
AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the course.
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

-ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS:
ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS AND EXAMINATION POLICY
You cannot make-up a major exam (midterm or final) without the permission of the Dean’s Office. The Dean’s Office will grant such permission only when the absence was caused by a serious impediment, such as a documented illness, hospitalization or death in the immediate family (in which you must attend the funeral) or other situations of similar gravity. Absences due to other meaningful conflicts, such as job interviews, family celebrations, travel difficulties, student misunderstandings or personal convenience, will not be excused. Students who will be absent from a major exam must notify the Dean’s Office prior to that exam. Absences from class due to the observance of a religious holiday will normally be excused. Individual students who will have to miss class to observe a religious holiday should notify the instructor by the end of the Add/Drop period to make prior arrangements for making up any work that will be missed. The final exam period runs until ____________
ACADEMIC HONESTY
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
STUDENTS WITH LEARNING OR OTHER DISABILITIES
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.

SCHEDULE

Class 1(5/28): From Beatbox to Breakbeats: An Introduction to the Sonic Landscape of Hip Hop

Recommended Readings: Foreman, Chapter 31 Chang, Chapter 3

Required Listening: The Message- Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five, RUN D.M.C.-Run DMC, Paid in Full-Eric B and Rakim, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold us Back-Public Enemy, Slick Rick: The Great Adventures of Slick Rick  

Recommended Viewing: The Evolution of Hip Hop Ep. 1,


Class 2 (5/30)
: The Cypher: Understanding Loops

Recommended Readings: Foreman, Chapter 44 Schloss, Chapter 6 Perry, Chapter 3 

Required Listening: People’s Instinctive Travel and the Paths of Rhythm-ATCQ, Straight Outta Compton-NWA, All Hail the Queen-Queen Latifa, We can’t be stopped- Geto Boys,

Recommended Viewing; The Evolution of Hip Hop Ep. 2


Class 3 (6/4): Digging in the Crates: An Overview of Sampling as a Musical Medium

Required Readings: Foreman, Chapter 33, 34 (Sample This, This Is A Sampling Sport) Schloss, Chapter 4

Required Listening: The Low End Theory, Beastie Boys: Paul's Boutique, The Chronic-Dr. Dre, Reachin- Digable Planets

Required Viewing: History of Sampling


Class 4 (6/6): The 4 Pillars of Hip Hop

Recommended Readings: Foreman, Chapter 6 Perry, Chapter 1 Chang, Chapter 6

Required Listening: Ready to Die-Notorious BIG, Enter the 36 Chambers-Wu Tang, Illmatic-Nas, The Score- The Fugees

Recommended Viewing: The Evolution of Hip Hop Ep. 3

Class 5 (6/11): The Emcee & The Art of Storytelling

Recommended Readings: Foreman, Chapter 35 (Fine Art of Rap) Perry, Chapter 4 

Required Listening: Reasonable Doubt, Life After Death, Aquemini-Outkast, Illadelph Halflife- The Roots,

Required Viewing: The Art of 16 Bars


Class 6 (6/13): SWAG: How Hip Hop Influences Fashion and Creative Entrepreneurship

Required Reading: Foreman, Chapter 37, 40  Perry, Chapter 7

Required Listening: Big Daddy Kane: Long Live the Kane , No Way Out-Puff Daddy and the Family, Long Live ASAP-ASAP Rocky  

Required Viewing: Dapper Dan Interview, Nas on Hip Hop Fashion

(Midterm Project)

Class 7 (6/18): Do the Right Thing: Hip Hop in Visual Media

Recommended Readings: Foreman, Chapter 42

Required Listening: The Pharcyde: Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde, Donuts-J DIlla, Madvilliany- MF Doom,

Required Viewing: Do the Right Thing


Class 8 (6/20): Breaking: Hip Hop Dance as a Catharsis for Oppressed Communities

Required Readings: Foreman, Chapter 1, 3 (Breaking), Chapter 38 (Dance in Hip Hop Culture) Chang, Chapter 7

Required Viewing: Until The Quiet Comes-Flying Lotus, RIZE

Required Listening: teacher curated playlist

 

Class 9 (6/25): Street Art: Concrete Canvases

Recommended Readings: Foreman, Chapter 2 Perry, Chapter 2 (My Mic Sound Nice) Chang, Chapter 8

Required Listening: Black Star-Talib Kweli & Mos Def, The Infamous-Mobb Deep, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill-Lauryn Hill, The Cool-Lupe Fiasco

Required Viewing: No Free Walls, A Brief History of Graffiti Style Wars


Class 10 (6/27)
: To Pimp A Butterfly and Beyond: Hip Hop and Social Justice

Recommended Readings: Foreman, Part V (The Message) Perry, Chapter 5 

Required Listening: To Pimp A Butterfly-Kendrick Lamar, Black America Again-Common, Cosmmogramma-Flying Lotus

Recommend Viewing: The Message-Furious Five, For Free/Alright/These Walls-Kendrick Lamar


Class 11 (6/28): Final Project Review