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Rap and Hip-Hop Panel Discussion - David Belair

I enjoyed the panel discussion, but was disappointed when Prof. Pate left early. I was really interested in all he had to say, and felt the discussion was lacking after he departed. I felt in the short time he was there he really had everyone's attention and had many interesting things to say. I was expecting a longer session, and think the length of the evening may have been influenced by Prof. Pate's leaving. I am glad I was there, and it was very informative, just maybe not all that I was expecting.

The topic I took the most from was hip hop and how it translates to academics. Prof. Pate made a point that hip hop and the academic study of hip hip should be seperate from each other. His point was that the academics should be on the outside of the hip hop scene, in the background and listening to the music that is being produced. The academics are the watch dog that keeps the "poetry" real, and out of the mainstream. They are not the experts on the music, but they teach how to think about the music. Prof. Riviere made the point that hip hip is the carrot to get the student to learn other aspects of American history. By having students in her hip hop class, she is able to also teach them about other events in our history, such as the civil right movement.

Hip hop has sort of taken over for folk singers, such as Dylan and others, as the new protest music. Prof. Riviera made a good point about the lack of powerful political hip hop and rap today. She stated that when there is more repression there is greater protestation. Meaning that at this point in our history, there is less to protest about than there was in the past. There are still powerful messages coming out of hip hop, unfortunately, they are not getting mass play on radio stations and are more underground than in the past.