Outkast are one of the most influential hip hop acts of all time but they’re about to start influencing students of a whole new generation, with a US college offering a course revolving around the duo.
Armstrong State University in Georgia have introduced a course on how the duo of André 3000 and Big Boi used hip hop as a way of political expression.
It’s being led by Professor Regina Bradley who wants to use the course as a way of exploring how Outkast opened the door to the “possibility of southern rappers.”
“This course reflects my need to see more of my experiences as a southern hip hop enthusiast in scholarly conversations about hip hop in general,” Bradley told Pigeons & Planes about the course.
Bradley further believes that the boundaries of what makes English literature need to be broken open and extended to include hip hop.
“There’s also an equally restrictive definition of what literature is: prose, poetry, or something typeset on pages between covers,” she said.
“Hip hop has lyrical content that can be read as literary but there’s also a story in the way hip-hop sounds and how we as listeners receive the message being presented in hip-hop’s sonic elements (accompaniment, ad-libs, etc).”
It sounds like it’s going to be a little more complex than simply learning how to shake it like a polaroid picture but it genuinely sounds like a very worthwhile course. Particularly given that Outkast have made some of the most politically poignant records of the last two decades.
Speaking of which, maybe it’s time they delivered us another.
Watch: Outkast – ‘Elevators (Me & You)’