I had a fantastic time reading this article this morning over at the Root.
Then I submitted a question early in the day to this chat.
I came back from lunch and read this response:
My question: Philadelphia, Pa.: What is it like to teach your students about hip-hop in the late 80's? Do they view it as history and how engaged are they in the dialogue about it? Just curious.
Also, do you feel like the fact that 1988 was an election year (and the end of the Reagan era - finally!) had to do with a serious upsurge in the political nature of the hip-hop scene.
And finally, congratulations on a wonderful article and on all your success. I am so proud that Philadelphia is producing so many wonderful hip-hop and urban scholars.
Nicholas James: Great question! There is an interesting rub when it comes to teaching about Hip Hop culture. Teaching from the late '80s perspective is difficult, but I find that locating the similarities, musically and culturally, gathers engagement. Of course '88 is a fun year to discuss, not only because the music became so broad, but also because of all the social factors that influenced the music - much like social factors are influencing the music of 2008 (think Barack Obama).
I get so excited by this stuff. Like the teacher thinks I'm smart.