US college students will now study ‘Sociology of Hip Hop: Jay-Z’

Updated: Dec 03, 2011, 13:36 PM IST

London: Jay Z is now a part of the course curriculum in Georgetown University, entitled ‘Sociology of Hip Hop: Jay-Z’.

The course, offered by Professor Michael Eric Dyson, will study the rapper’s lyrical prowess, which has been compared by him as if analysing fine literature.

For Dyson, Jay Z’s lyrics reflect incisive social commentary, and perfect material for a university class.

The course may seem an unlikely offering at a Jesuit, majority-white school that counts former President Bill Clinton among its alumni, the Daily Mail reported.

Additionally, the fact that a class at one of nation’s top schools is based around a popular, living celebrity has struck many as odd.

But Dyson asserted that that his class confronts topics present in any sociology course: racial and gender identity, sexuality, capitalism and economic inequality.

“It just happens to have an interesting object of engagement in Jay-Z – and what better way to meet people where they are?” Mr Dyson said.

Dyson has said that Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, is a worthy subject because of his diverse business interests – a clothing entrepreneur, he’s also a part owner of the NBA’s New Jersey Nets (soon to move to his native New York borough of Brooklyn) – as well as his immense cross-cultural appeal and ‘lyrical prowess’ in articulating contemporary black culture and his place in it.

“I think he’s an icon of American excellence,” he added.

ANI