Before taking this class, I was hardly familiar with many hip hop artists and in many ways only saw hip hop as being a commercialized product that commodified women and was not very inclusive. My judgements on hip hop were mostly because of the stereotypes that the media chooses to portray about it, a lot of gangsters with money dancing with half naked women and and drinking expensive champagne. After taking this class, I've realized that the media and also part of my former self could not have been more wrong. Hip hop is so much more than gangsters or half naked women. Now, I think hip hop is an incredibly important genre of music that not only brings all different types of people together but acts as a platform for activism for youth and also marginalized people that need a voice and an advocate. I've learned that hip hop is a lot more that just a beat and some guy or girl rapping over it. It is a complex system of different patterns and sounds that's roots trace back to the continent of Africa and to Slavery. I've learned that hip hop exists all over the world and connects many people though ideas of hope and determination for change. Now I know that hip hop doesn't just put women down and objectify them but actually gives them a space to critically challenge the gender stereotypes and the common male dominated discourses of of current society. Honestly, over this semester this class has taught me more than all of my others and made me realize that I have a place in the hip hop cipher too, even as a suburban-raised white girl. Along the way, I have learned some great artists from today and the past that have definitely become some of my new favorites!