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Blog Entry 1 – DUE by Monday, Sept. 25, 9am

Thought Question 1:

  • Hip hop has long grappled with questions of whether artists’ lyrics should be taken seriously as a reflection of reality or whether it’s “just entertainment” and should be understood as an artistic statement. From lyrics about killing police officers to domestic violence, misogyny, or homophobia, hip hop artists are often questioned as to whether they mean what they say to be taken literally. Complete the readings by Touré, and Ta-Nehisi Coates and then address the following questions in a short response of 1-2 pages, double-spaced 12-pt font. Print this out and hand it in at the beginning of class on Thursday (staple multiple sheets or print 2-sided. I won’t have a stapler in class). Do not answer the questions in a numbered list, rather, write a response that incorporates all the elements into a seamless document.
    • Should hip hop artists such as Snoop Dogg or 50 Cent rap about topics such as murder and drug dealing? Do they do a disservice or benefit by creating an image of themselves as gangsters?
    • Choose a song from either Snoop’s album Doggystyle or 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Tryin (both available on YouTube) and look up its lyrics on the website genius.com. Write about whether you think these lyrics should be taken seriously or understood as artistic provocation. Feel free to draw on points made by either Touré or Coates in your answer.