Jay-Z: Essays on Hip Hop's Philosopher King

Overview

Jay-Z is one of America's leading rappers and entrepreneurs, as well known for his music as for his business acumen. This text seeks to situate Jay-Z within his musical, intellectual and cultural context for educational study. Thirteen essays address such topics as Jay-Z's relevance to African-American oral history, socially responsible hip hop and upward mobility in the African-American community. By observing Jay-Z through the lens of cultural studies, this study assists the teacher, student, scholar, and fan ...

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Overview

Jay-Z is one of America's leading rappers and entrepreneurs, as well known for his music as for his business acumen. This text seeks to situate Jay-Z within his musical, intellectual and cultural context for educational study. Thirteen essays address such topics as Jay-Z's relevance to African-American oral history, socially responsible hip hop and upward mobility in the African-American community. By observing Jay-Z through the lens of cultural studies, this study assists the teacher, student, scholar, and fan in understanding how he became such an historically significant figure. Each essay includes a set of review questions meant to spark discussion in the classroom.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786463299
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/28/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 223
  • Sales rank: 1,317,486
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Julius Bailey is a visiting professor of philosophy at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio and lead professor of philosophy and religion at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. He has written about music for numerous publications, including Vibe Magazine and The Source Hip Hop Magazine.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments viii

Foreword: On Jay-Z and Hip Hop Studies Cornel West 1

Introduction: In Search of Meaning: Sign, Symbol, and Shawn Julius Bailey 3

Part I The Groundwork

1 Jigga Speaks: The Tradition of Black Oratorical Genius Toni Blackman 25

2 The Authentic Cultural Agent G. Jahwara Giddings 39

3 The Meeting with a President and a "King" Davey D 52

4 A Urban Singer of Tales: The Freestyle Remixing of an Afro-Homeric Oral Tradition Nicole Hodges Persley 67

5 The Prodigal God and the Legacy of Socially Responsible Hip Hop T. Hasan Johnson 84

Part II The Challenges

6 Zen and the Art of Transcending the Status Quo: The Reach from the Hood to the Suburbs Bakari Kitwana 99

7 Black Marketing Whiteness: From Hustler to HNIC Stephany Rose 117

8 A Forty Million Slave's Moment of Clarity Daylan Dufelmeier 132

9 Hip Hop's Prospects for Womanist Masculinity Melina Abdullah 141

Part III The Classroom Freestyles

10 Complicating Shawn Carter: Race, the Code, and the Politics of School David Stovall 159

11 Oedipus-Not-So-Complex: A Blueprint for Literary Education A.D. Carson 172

12 The Culture Industry: Mainstream Success and Black Cultural Representation Gil Cook 180

13 The Self-Reliant Philosopher King: Shawn Carter Exonerated Sha'Dawn Battle 191

About the Contributors 211

Index 213

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2011

    Excellent book, fresh ideas and topic

    Inhabiting a world where anything and everything can become a commodity and therefore, in many a person's opinion, become corrupted, educational paradigms and educators themselves are unnaturally forced to look in unfamiliar arenas in an attempt to connect to the youth that desperately seeks understanding and escapism in any form other than formal education.
    Recognizing this absurd world, Dr. Julius Bailey, a profound philosopher with long stretching wisdom on hip hop and youth culture, aims to connect to students through their lived experiences and engage them by giving credence to what they are exposed to in their daily lives. Bailey claims that students today adopt the views of the mainstream version of today's philosopher - hip hop artists - in part due to the powerful influence of language and the frequency with which music is played. Right before a student enters a class on sociology he or she is receiving a lecture on life in the hood, right before walking in on a speech about feminism a student nods his or her head to Lil Wayne's famous club song "Lollipop". Simply put, when examining youth culture nothing is more prevalent than music and in current times that music is predominantly Hip Hop. So, how do these two worlds, education and hip hop, collide and can they possibly combine forces? Dr. Bailey thinks they can and to convince the rest of us, he has crafted a collection of essays from many prominent and competent scholars on arguably Hip Hop's current leader and entrepreneur, Shawn Corey Carter a.k.a. Jay-Z.
    Dr. Bailey's book is multilayered in design, style, and effectiveness in a classroom environment. Much like the rap mogul himself, the book provides a "Blueprint" for engaging students in Hip Hop education that has uses far beyond the context of hip hop and education. The book is an editorial by Bailey, who rounded up a varied group of scholars and educators and had each of them contribute a piece to the 13-chapter book. Renowned philosopher Cornel West provides a touching and powerful foreword to the book followed by Bailey's introduction where, in well-formed detail, he describes the goals of the book. The introduction also serves as a crash course into Hip Hop philosophy and Jay-Z as well as providing explanations for the choice of Jay-Z and the need for a book like this in the current American education system. It is an ambitious project, one that will hopefully find support, and the potential for conversation is immense.
    It is an incredibly satisfying read that does not shy away from critiquing raps largest star and it is profound in its educational philosophy. A must read.

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