Georgia Tech is now offering an undergraduate course based on trap music titled “Exploring the Lyrics of Outkast and Trap Music to Explore Politics of Social Justice.” The course, which started on January 13, is a humanities elective and a requirement for students with a Social Justice minor.
The curriculum will follow the trap music story from its introduction by DJ Toomp to its popularization by producers like Shawty Red, Metro Boomin, Mike WiLL Made-It and Zaytoven.
Students taking the course will research and analyze the sound and social impact of artists including Goodie Mob, UGK, Eightball & MJG, T.I., Jeezy, 2 Chainz, Gucci Mane, Future, Migos and 21 Savage, as well as noting the intergenerational tensions and discourse about Lil Yachty’s artistry.
The class will also explore legendary artists like 2Pac, The Notorious B.I.G., Kanye West, Nas, N.W.A, Public Enemy, Nicki Minaj, Lil Kim and Lauryn Hill.
The course’s professor is Dr. Joycelyn Wilson. She is an Atlanta native and Hip-Hop scholar. She is popularly known for her notable TEDx lecture “The Outkast Imagination,” and for being an Emmy award-nominated documentary film producer of Walking With Guns. She is featured in the VH1 documentary The Untold Story of Atlanta’s Rise In The Rap Game.
“It’s a course that uses new metaphors for exploring contemporary rap music,” she explains. One of my metaphors is ‘The Outkast Imagination’ and the other metaphor is ‘trap.’ Both allow us to broaden and deepen our understandings of the music within a larger tradition of cultural expression.”
As part of her Four Four Beat Project, Dr. Wilson’s syllabus for the trap music course consists of music, film, essays, photography, and lectures from guest speakers. Wilson further explained the course’s appeal to students:
“The class is popular because Hip Hop culture is popular, but also because we are in Atlanta and offering the course at an institute of technology committed to intersecting the humanities with technology.” Read more…
(Image Source: DJ Toomp’s Instagram)