Artistic Resistance: Creating A Transformative Teaching Praxis Through Hip-Hop
Dr. Vajra Watson,
Director, Research and Policy for Equity
Founder, Sacramento Area Youth Speaks (SAYS)
University of California, Davis
Artistic Resistance: Creating a Transformative Teaching Praxis Through Hip-Hop
As an urban art form of creative expression, hip-hop has profound significance for education. Theories of cultural production contextualize rap as a powerful resistance-oriented transformative tool. Building upon aesthetic education models, this article moves from theory to practical application by providing a critical analysis of over 1,000 rap lyrics, giving particular attention to the ways a select group of artists conceptualize knowledge, learning, and school. Within the music, the rappers draw upon personal experience and social commentary to argue for community-based culturally relevant schooling and high expectations. These lyrical lessons add to the general discussion about how to utilize the arts in urban schools.
Key Words: youth culture, hip-hop, aesthetic education, urban education, literary arts