THR: Jay-Z’s Lyrics Analyzed as Subject of College Course

by Sophie Schillaci

The class, titled “Sociology of Hip-Hop: Jay-Z,” is currently offered at Georgetown University.

Jay-Z may not have attended college, but his lyrics have provided the subject matter for a course in his name at Georgetown University.

Sociology of Hip-Hop: Jay-Z is offered this semester at the Washington, D.C. campus, led by professor, author, radio host and television personality Michael Eric Dyson. The pop culture course delves into the social commentary behind Hov’s lyrics, touching on racial and gender identity, sexuality, capitalism and economic inequality. The rapper’s memoir, Decoded, serves as required text.

“I think he’s an icon of American excellence,” Dyson told the AP, explaining that the rapper is a notable subject due to his business ventures. The professor has previously taught classes on Tupac Shakur and Marvin Gaye at the University of Pennsylvania.

Jay-Z, whose birth name is Shawn Carter, received three Grammy nominations this year for his groundbreaking collaborative album Watch the Throne. He serves as part owner of the NBA’s New Jersey Nets — soon to be relocated to his hometown of Brooklyn — and founded the wildly popular urban clothing line, Rocawear. Married to pop star Beyonce, the couple is expecting their first child in early 2012.

The 13-time Grammy award winner is currently on tour with Throne collaborator Kanye West.

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