What I am doing…What am I doing?

Procrastinating mostly. But even though that shell is tough and unforgiving, doing still manages to leak through. It has been fun to think about this project, to pretend I’m working or planning, and creating a mental itinerary that will disappear when I need it most. I feel confident, nay, cocky, when I picture my final product. Finally I am (eventually) doing (starting) a project about hip-hop; something that has shaped my perspective, a subject that I have studied for half of my life, something I love. Thinking about the process is a different, foggier story. But those details will work themselves out in time….is what I am telling myself. Artists and lyrics pop into my head that feel like bullet-proof examples for my purposes, only for me to what realize; what is my purpose with this project? To be honest, subconsciously I’ve been thinking of this as a glorified book report centered around the themes from the assigned reading. Is hip-hop inclusive to all participants? (Kinda). Is hip-hop critical of institutions and the status quo? (Yes). Is hip-hop a product of a democratic culture? (Kinda). Support my arguments with some thought-provoking, obscure lyrics to show how hip I am and boom! Done.

But hip-hop is so much more, and so is this project. From Professor Long’s post regarding the project:

what might happen when you think about the cultural activity as pedagogical—as a method of engaging the creative and critical faculties, stimulating the imagination, promoting the freedom to speculate? 

From these questions, my sights are set on what hip-hop has to teach us and what it has taught me. I want to find how hip-hop has allowed individuals to be creative and critical, to imagine and to speculate. It is easy to find critical and creative works of hip-hop music, which this project certainly will have. But what other products have come from the culture of hip-hop? Here are two stories to get started.

I no longer feel cocky or confident about this project, but eager.Thoughts bubbled while reading Alexis de Tocqueville, Benjamin Barber, and James Baldwin over the last few months thinking about where hip-hop fits into American identity, art contributing to democracy, and the human experience as art’s “raw materials”. But how does it fit all together? I know I have an answer inside of me, and I am eager to learn what it is.

 

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