Lynne d Johnson



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07.24.03 04:13 AM

exactly what is a hip-hop scholar/intellectual?

Is it this?

Rebuilding Harvard's African Studies Department, by Sara Rimer, The Afrocentric Experience

"Professor Gates described Mr. Summers as "nothing but supportive" of his efforts to rebuild the department, including his recruiting the hip-hop expert Marcyliena Morgan from the University of California at Los Angeles. Ms. Morgan has already installed her hip-hop archives at Harvard."

"With the new appointments, the African and African-American studies department has 25 faculty members. As an associate professor, Ms. Morgan will teach classes on hip-hop and linguistics and be the director of the hip-hop archives, which includes T-shirts, videotapes of the early hip-hop artists practicing their art in basements in the Bronx and an extensive collection of CD's by rappers like Tupac Shakur and Public Enemy."

Or is it this?

Get Real, by Todd Inoue, Metroactive

"TRICIA ROSE is about to kill it. The new prof at UC-Santa Cruz is closing her second quarter by cramming more than 150 years of blood, sweat, tears, slavery, church, blues, rock, jazz, R&B and hip-hop into a 90-minute espresso shot of academia that encompasses theories on cultural capital and binary oppositional thinking. Before the lecture is through, she will reference Ralph Ellison and Eminem. Heads will nod when she questions why black people form 12 percent of the population yet produce 70-80 percent of pop music. Backs stiffen when she theoretically questions why white suburban kids get their sag on and openly appropriate Black Cool but would be shit scared to actually be black."

Or this?

Hip-Hop Intellectuals A radical generation comes of age, by Adam Mansbach,

"Many of today's most vibrant young artists -- from rapper Jay-Z to solo performer Sarah Jones to novelist Zadie Smith -- can best be understood through the matrix of hip-hop. Just as the jazz aesthetic birthed nonmusicians such as novelist Ralph Ellison, poet Amiri Baraka, photographer Roy Decarava and painter Romare Bearden, hip-hop has produced its own school of thinkers and artists. Call them hip-hop intellectuals: folks who derive their basic artistic, intellectual and political strategies from the tenets of the musical form itself -- collage, reclamation of public space, the repurposing of technology -- even if they're not kicking rhymes or scratching records. "

Or even this?

CRITICAL NOIRE: Confessions of a ThugNiggaIntellectual , by Mark Anthony Neal,

"Todd Boyd, like many of his contemporaries including Robin D.G. Kelley, Michael Eric Dyson, S. Craig Watkins, Dwight McBride and Thomas Glave, are part of a generation of black male scholars who are redefining the style and influence of the traditional black male intellectual; a figure that has been influenced throughout the 20th century by figures like W.E.B. DuBois, Richard Wright, Horace Mann, Amiri Baraka, and most recently the duo of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Cornel West. Though Boyd, Kelley, Dyson, Watkins, McBride and Glave represent radically different personalities and modes of expression, they are all responsible for creating a new space within the academy and the public sphere for black masculinity to exist as a vibrant, vivacious, virile, and versatile entity. In other words, they have given rise for young black men to re-imagine themselves within the context of the academy, and it is in this spirit that I have begun to think of myself as a "ThugNiggaIntellectual". "

I don't know. You decide.

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