Mark Laver, Kendrick Lamar, and Hip Hop at Grinnell

April 03, 2017

Hip-Hop at Grinnell College

Assistant professor of music, Mark Laver’s 2016 First-Year Tutorial course was featured in a USA Today College article, “11 college courses in pop culture we wish we could take.” Students examined “the relationships between the arts, activism and social justice” as well as the relationship between hip hop and African American cultural memory, sound, cities, communities, authenticity, identity, performance, race, politics and music in America. Prior to teaching this course, Laver and undergraduate Tara Verma ’19 researched and developed detailed metadata records of hip hop on the internet, with a particular focus on how hip hop is represented by different creators and curators of hip hop knowledge (i.e., university libraries, record labels, music criticism publications, management and promotion agencies, radio stations, etc.) for consumption by different audiences. This data was used in the tutorial, and further development will continue in Fall 2017 when Laver will teach a course on hip hop.

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