Jeff Chang sets the stage for hip hop’s origins in the late 1970s, the Bronx.

Framing Graffiti

From the beginning, hip hop challenged the dominant frames used to define people and communities.

Malcolm X

“Message to the Grass Roots” is among Malcolm X’s most famous and most influential speeches.

Wild Style

Wild Style is the earliest film to document  hip hop’s four elements.


Isaac Hayes won multiple Grammys  and an Oscar for Shaft‘s soundtrack.


Ron O’Neal’s portrayal of Youngblood Priest creates one of Blaxploitation’s most charismatic antiheroes.

The Mack

[E]very great rapper is not just a documentarian, but a trickster…. — Jay Z (Decoded, 55)


Ice Cube starred, produced, and co-wrote the script for this “stoner buddy comedy” film.

Kung Fu Cinema

Hong Kong cinema made a central contribution to hip hop’s early ethics and aesthetics.

First Paragraphs

Analyze images from your food bank web site by applying the recommendations and guidelines detailed in our textbook.

Postindustrial Soul

Neal’s chapters 5-6 focus on recent innovations, and class divisions, within African American communities and their musics.

Public Enemy

“Public Enemy is, by all measures, the greatest, most impactful political rap group to ever have existed.”

36th Chamber

Acknowledged as one of the greatest martial arts films of all time, 36th Chamber had a huge impact on hip hop.

Color Harmony

For centuries, designers have sought to define the laws governing colors that work together in harmony.

Gangsta Rap 101

With this assignment we begin our second textbook, Eithne Quinn’s Nuthin’ but a “g” thang: The Culture and Commerce of Gangsta Rap.

Wu Tang Clan

The importance of kung fu films is signaled by the group’s first album title, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).

Run D.M.C.

Run-D.M.C.’s emergence in the early 1980s set the template for much of modern hip hop.

Exam 1

In Spring 2018, Exam 1 is available from Friday, March 23, through Sunday, March 25 at 10 p.m.

Gangsters 1

The crack epidemic and the “War on Drugs” heavily influenced hip hop’s early content and aesthetics.


Among many other things, NWA forced “a major [music] industry rethinking of consumer taste patterns” (83).


The gangster film, a classic American genre, was re-envisioned for the millennium.

CSS 101

This online assignment introduces the basic concepts and grammar of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).


Among hip hop’s many icons, Tupac Shakur remains unique, in both music and cinema.

Tupac Shakur

Shakur literally was a son of the Black Panthers. Did it matter then? Does it matter now?