I LOVE Hip-Hop culture! The music, style, dress and attitude, and the way it made me feel. Let me clarify, I’m an ‘old-school’ hip-hop fan, and artists like Lauren Hill, Tupac Shakur, Mos Def and Queen Latifah told stories with their lyrics. Their lyrical flow was like poetry, or ‘floetry’. That was their form of artist and creative expression which allowed them to be their authentic selves.
In Emery Petchauer's article, Starting With Style: Toward a Second Wave of Hip-Hop Education Research and Practice, (2015), he suggests that hip-hip should be used and viewed "as form rather than content,” and that there are other elements in hip-hop that can used in education such as, sampling, layering, flow, rupture and dance.
I think that when we look at hip-hop in education, we MUST look at all these elements including the content of hip-hop…you cannot have one without the others. If you are going to use hip-hop as a form of pedagogy in the classroom, then all areas within hip-hop must be included in order to get a full appreciation for the music and the culture. “You are the perfect verse over a tight beat”, a quote from the movie “Brown Sugar” says it all. Without the content or the lyrics, there would be no beats to layer or sample.
The following is a quote that I found (author unknown), which I feel expresses the power of hip-hop...”Hip-hop is more than music, hip-hop has crossed cultural boundaries that other music genres never crossed. Hip-hop is not only the music you listen to, but the way you walk, talk, dress and act. Hip-hop is a state of mind, an entire generation. Thirty years strong. We are the hip-hop generation."
Petchauer, E., “Starting With Style: Toward a Second Wave of Hip-Hop Education Research and Practice,” Urban Education 2015, Vol. 50(1), pp. 78–105.