Posted on December 6, 2011

Professor Teaches Class on the Wisdom of Jay-Z

Eric Tucker, Chicago Sun-Times, December 5, 2011

Michael Eric Dyson parses Jay-Z’s lyrics as if analyzing fine literature. The rapper’s riffs on luxury cars and tailored clothes and boasts of being the “Mike Jordan of recording” may make for catchy rhymes, but to Dyson, they also reflect incisive social commentary.

Dyson, a professor, author, radio host and television personality, has offered at Georgetown University this semester a popular–if unusual–class dedicated to Jay-Z and his career.

“Sociology of Hip Hop: Jay-Z” may seem an unlikely offering at a Jesuit, majority-white school that counts former President Bill Clinton among its alumni. But Dyson insists that his class confronts topics present in any sociology course: racial and gender identity, sexuality, capitalism and economic inequality.


Dyson previously taught classes on Tupac Shakur and Marvin Gaye at the University of Pennsylvania. {snip}