Jay Z and Kanye West have a remarkable history together, which would explain why The University of Missouri is offering a college course on the rap icons, according to Consequence of Sound.
In the English course, aptly named “Jay-Z and Kanye West”, students will dissect the duo’s success from three distinct perspectives: “(1) Where do they fit within, and how do they change, the history of hip-hop music?; (2) How is what they do similar to and different from what poets do?, and (3) How does their rise to both celebrity and corporate power alter what we understand as the American dream?”
The creator of the class, Andrew Hoberek, revealed the overall academic aim of the course.”I really do think that these guys are warming up to the level of major poets, and not many people think of it in those terms. Because it’s not just on a page, but it’s video art, too,” Hoberek explains. “So, we looked at how those complicated the questions, and how do books about poetry help us to understand rap with Jay and Kanye at the forefront. We looked at the larger history of rap as an art form.”
He goes on to add that Jay’s Blueprint 3 and West’s Yeezus makes “an identifiable push to get beyond what’s happening in the art form. They’re very much like painters and novelists in the 20th century, moving beyond the confines of the art form’s boundaries.”
Both rappers previously have been the subject of academic analysis. Back in 2011, Georgetown University offered a sociology class centered on Hov, while West inspired Julius Bailey‘s 300-page textbook called The Cultural Impact of Kanye West, arriving later this spring.
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