In today’s Post: Jay-Z 101 at Georgetown University

It’s Monday morning at Georgetown University, and Michael Eric Dyson is on Page 176 of “Decoded,” the memoir of rap superstar Jay-Z.

Pacing the classroom in his boxy, Hoya-blue suit, the sociology professor pushes his glasses up his nose and dives into the rapper’s musings on race and self-image: “Jay-Z is speaking about the imagistic conception of blackness that is evoked in a white world thinking about black culture.”

Students crammed into Dyson’s classroom jot this idea into their spiral notebooks, click-clack it into their laptops. It’s one of countless bullet points that cascade from the professor’s mind during what has become one of the most popular courses on campus — SOCI-124-01 or “Sociology of Hip-Hop — Urban Theodicy of Jay-Z.” It might be the only Georgetown course ever discussed on MTV.

Read the full story from the front page of today’s Style section and watch a video with Michael Eric Dyson above.

Chris Richards has been the Post's pop music critic since 2009. He's recently written about summer songs, festival fatigue, metal drumming and D.C. rap star Shy Glizzy.


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