The way hip-hop performers like Lil B and Kanye West present themselves can be intriguing. Often times, they are more engaging than other figures in the media (like politicians). What does this mean to teachers and the students they teach? Regardless of whether or not you like this genre, it is everywhere. Its presence and impact can be utilized during instruction. I think hip-hop offers a way to spark students’ passions. Passion allows students to investigate issues and look for solutions to advocate for change. “I also believe that something real is happening when Kanye West, in the process of saying essentially nothing, brings himself to tears and a crowd to its feet” (Marantz, 2015). This power, to inflict emotional reactions among the masses, is something that can’t be ignored. “Rap concerts, political rallies, acceptance speeches at awards shows—all are opportunities to deliver rhetoric with such incantatory power as to generate a response from the audience” (Marantz, 2015). The artists and themes in hip-hop songs give students a springboard to being to start thinking about how things impact society the significance to their own lives. For example, one can examine the power struggles in American and the gaps between those in power and those who are marginalized (Marantz, 2015). The interest in hip-hop can give teachers an entry point to begin to discuss important social justice issues. I think using it within the classroom setting enables students to become actively engaged in topics that may be boring but extremely important (Maratnz, 2015).
Marantz, A. (2015). “Kanye West For President”, The New Yorker. Retrieved: