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University of Arizona introduces first hip-hop minor

Do you have a passion for hip-hop music that simply can’t be addressed by a standard college education?

That problem no longer exists for students at the University of Arizona, who can now pursue a minor in hip-hop, the first degree of its kind in the nation.

While some might think hip-hop isn’t suitable for serious study, Alain-Philippe Durand, director of Africana Studies, disagrees. For decades, scholars have trained their academic eyes on the music, fashion, street art and dance that express a now global cultural phenomenon. They don’t study hip-hop for its catchy beats. They study it because it’s a river that roars through societies, shaping their cultural and political landscapes as it goes.

Student do more than just listening to music and writing papers, they break down each line and consider how multiple identities have overlapped to create what we know as hip-hop today.

Do you think this is a worthwhile degree for students to pursue or is it merely a distraction?