Kanye West: From ‘Dropout’ to College Course
‘There’s nothing I really wanted to do in life that I wasn’t able to get good at. That’s my skill. I’m not really specifically talented at anything except for the ability to learn. That’s what I do. That’s what I’m here for.’
— Kanye West, The Guardian, 2005
We are all familiar with Mr. West and his infamous rants, his marriage to Kim Kardashian, and his adorable daughter and fashionista in her own right, North West. But how many of you knew that the college dropout has a college course dedicated to him? You heard me correctly, the students at Georgia State University have the opportunity to enroll in such a class thanks to Dr. Scott Heath
“Kanye Versus Everybody: Black poetry and poetics from Hughes to Hip-Hop” was created by Dr. Scott Heath. This particular class examines “Yeezus” from the start of his career to his current status as one of the most influential rap artists of our generation. Dr. Heath earned his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and specializes in Modern African-American Literature and culture.
According to his interview with TheFader.com, Dr. Heath explains that West makes for “a useful lens through which to investigate the continuous development of African-American poetry and poetics —the use of language and literature to represent blackness and Americanness in particular —observing shifts meaning in and out of text with important considerations of race, class, gender, and sexuality.”
According to the syllabus, students will decipher Kanye’s work and interviews which Heath believes draws a direct line from the Harlem Renaissance to the black nationalist era to current hip-hop.
“I think that young writers around the world—and especially young black writers—are more prolific than they’ve ever been,” he explained. “It just so happens that they’re writing to a beat.”
Read full FADER article here.
Jasmine Roper15 Posts
Jasmine E. Roper is a graduate of Grambling State University. A member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and The Society of Distinguished Black Women, Inc. She loves pizza, Ted Talks, and randomly snapchatting (is that a word?) Follow her on Instagram @OhMinaaa