Hip hop is something which has told a million stories through history. As Mos Def once famously said “Hip hop is the last true folk art.” Because of this it has become a voice for entire communities, cultures and even a generation. It has told tales of the streets, tales of love and tales of woe. But because of these experiences and what the communities in which this music resides have gone through, it has also explored, understood and revealed worldwide issues of injustice, poverty and discrimination, in all its forms and all its locations.
All of these topics and issues are things worth learning of course, and what better place for them to be taught than in schools?
Kendrick Lamar’s magnum opus, ‘good kid, m.A.A.d city’, spawned an incredible amount of accolades upon its initial release. Now, to take things a step further, Kendrick’s candid lyrics have crossed over to the classroom. In an interview with HipHopDX, class instructor, Adam Diehl of Georgia Regents University in Augusta revealed why he opted to use Kendrick’s album as a source of inspiration for his class and why he considers him to be the James Joyce of hip hop. Because of this brilliant idea we thought we would put together a top 5 list of hip hop albums which should be taught in schools, SO SIT BACK AND TAKE NOTES!
Hip hop is a voice. It is a voice for communities and individuals who have very few voices. These voices want to tell their stories, their memories and just simply inform you about their way of life. If you want too teach the best way too tell these stories, what actual topics and issues you should be looking at and what does just simply sound the best, it has to be the classic that is Nas’ ‘Illmatic’. This is the first lesson of the day. If any hip hop album should be taught in schools, it has to be this one.