For over a decade, educators have looked to capitalize on the appeal of hip-hop culture, sampling its language, techniques, and styles as a way of reaching out to students. But beyond a fashionable hipness, what does hip-hop have to offer our schools? In this revelatory new book, Marc Lamont Hill shows how a serious engagement with hip-hop culture can affect classroom life in extraordinary ways. Based on his experience teaching a hip-hop–centered English literature course in a Philadelphia high school, and drawing from a range of theories on youth culture, identity, and educational processes, Hill offers a compelling case for the power of hip-hop in the classroom. In addition to driving up attendance and test performance, Hill shows how hip-hop–based educational settings enable students and teachers to renegotiate their classroom identities in complex, contradictory, and often unpredictable ways.
“One of the most profound, searching, and insightful studies of what happens to the identities and worldviews of high school students who are exposed to a hip-hop curriculum."
—Michael Eric Dyson, author, Can You Hear Me Now?
“Hill’s book is a beautifully written reminder that the achievement gaps that students experience may be more accurately characterized as cultural gaps—between them and their teachers (and the larger society). This is a book that helps us see the power and potential of pedagogy.”
—From the Foreword by Gloria Ladson-Billings, University of Wisconsin–Madison
“Beats, Rhymes, and Classroom Life offers a vibrant, rigorous, and comprehensive analysis of hip-hop culture as an effective pedagogy, cultural politics, and a mobilizing popular form. This book is invaluable for anyone interested in hip-hop culture, identity, education, and youth.”
—Henry Giroux, McMaster University
“This book marks the time where our modern literature changes from entertainment to education. A study guide for our next generation using the modern day struggle into manhood and beyond.”
—M-1 from dead prez