Barack Obama said it best when he surprised America by declaring, "The thing about hip-hop today is it's smart, it's insightful. The way they can communicate a complex message in a very short space is remarkable". Growing up with hip hop, I understood before taking this class how influential hip-hop could be. However, this class has deepened my understanding of hip-hop, enabling me to expand my knowledge about elements beyond lyricism and beats. In the same way, this class has also taught me to look deeper into lyrics and listen for the creative ideas expressed by the trickster. I can listen to hip-hop all day and night but looking at it from an academic perspective has peaked my interest and has allowed me to recognize that under the baggy clothes and sometimes distasteful lyrics, these are artists that deserve recognition for having the courage and intellect to discuss topics deemed by the social norm as forbidden.