The Washington Post

Jay-Z: The college course

Jay-Z is now the subject of a Georgetown University course. Study hard and you might get a v-to-the-izz A. (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

It’s not yet possible to declare Jay-Z as a major. But at Georgetown University, a group of lucky students is taking a course devoted to intense Hova study.

As noted by MTV’s Rapfix blog, Georgetown — otherwise known as the institute of higher learning unofficially endorsed by Justin Bieber — is offering a fall-semester-only class called “Sociology of Hip-Hop: Jay-Z.” The three-credit, twice-weekly lecture is taught by professor, author and Jay-Z proponent Michael Eric Dyson, who tells MTV about the course: “We look at his incredible body of work, we look at his own understanding of his work, we look at others who reflect upon him, and then we ask the students to engage in critical analysis of Jay-Z himself.”

Presumably that critical analysis does not involve speculation regarding ridiculous rumors involving Jay-Z’s wife Beyonce and their baby, aka Sasha Fetus.

Hip-hop has frequently been the subject of university classes; Duke University offers an African American studies class called “Sampling Soul,” which focuses on hip-hop, black cinema, social movements and other topics. And last spring, Bun B of the Underground Kingz served as a distinguished lecturer at Rice University, where he taught a religion and hip-hop course.

But focusing so intensely on a single rapper is somewhat rare. And it presents the unique opportunity to write a killer paper titled “Get That Dirt Off Your Shoulder: Obama, Politics and the Social Implications of ‘The Black Album.’ ”

No word on whether Kanye West will eventually be the subject of a course. If he is, I humbly recommend that it be called “The College Class on ‘The College Dropout.’ ”

When she isn’t at a movie theater or writing about movies, Jen Chaney is ... um ... probably at home, watching a movie.


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