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5 GREAT MOMENTS IN HIP HOP AND HIGHER EDUCATION

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J. Cole and Skip Gates at Harvard
Music producer, sought-after DJ, indie Hip Hop label head…there are a few things that North Carolina’s 9th Wonder is known for these days. But more and more people are beginning to know his by the titles of academic and scholar with the recent release of the trailer for the 9th Wonder documentary “The Hip Hop Fellow”. The Hip Hop documentary will apparently focus on 9th Wonder’s time at Harvard University as he leads discussion and teaches classes on Hip Hop music, culture and history. It got us to thinking here at SoSoActive: what are some of the greatest recent examples of the convergence of Hip Hop and higher learning? Here are five that might surprise you:

JAY Z COURSE AT GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY
Professor Michael Eric Dyson taught a course on the sociological and cultural impact of Jay Z’s music in 2012 at Georgetown University, and has also written books about the music of Nas and 2Pac.


QUESTLOVE’S CLASSIC ALBUMS COURSE AT NYU
Among his vast array of jobs (producer/DJ/Drummer/Curator/Music Supervisor), Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson also gained the title of professor by teaching a class called “Topics in Recorded Music: Classic Albums” at New York University in 2013.


J. COLE LECTURES AT HARVARD
Last year, Harvard’s Hip Hop Archive presented a town hall styled conversation with Roc Nation artist J. Cole.


WU TANG’S GZA AND COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY TEACH SCIENCE TO HIGH SCHOOLERS
Part of a program in New York called Science Genius, The GZA worked with Columbia University professor Christopher Emdin to teach science to high school kids through writing Hip Hop lyrics.


THE NAS HARVARD FELLOWSHIP
In October of last year, Harvard University and Queensbridge legend Nas announced the details of the Nasir Jones Hip hop Fellowship, a program that will fund visiting scholars who engage in Hip Hop-related research and academics.

Ron Grant is a freelance journalist and blogger originally from Detroit and currently residing in Orlando. He is a contributor at HipHopDX.com, is the lead writer for Orlando-based indie music label Conscious Mind Records and runs his own independent music blog, The Music Nerdvocate. Follow him on Twitter @RonGreezy.