Connecting Classrooms, Digital Media, and Popular Culture – Revised edition
Edited By Donna E. Alvermann
Chapter 7: Digital Literacies and Hip Hop Texts: The Potential for Pedagogy
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DIGITAL LITERACIES AND HIP HOP TEXTS
The Potential for Pedagogy
“It’s not our hip hop,” my old college roommate told me as he described how today’s adolescents participate in hip hop with their readily available digital technologies. Up to this point in our conversation we had been “talking hip hop” much like we had done 10 years ago in the living room of our apartment. Our conversations back then often centered on the dynamic world of hip hop music. In those days we had endless discussions on every conceivable detail of the hip hop music of which we were both intense fans. The topics ranged from who was the greatest lyricist of all time and why, to whether hip hop was a reflection of American and/or African American culture, to the musical ingenuity of a producer’s use of the horn, keyboard, or bass drum during the chorus of a particular song.
But on this particular day I turned our conversation to a different topic when I asked him how he thought technology had changed hip hop. My old friend, now a high school football coach, responded by telling me that adolescents today had instant access to hip hop anytime that they wanted it, and this access had, as he put it, “totally changed the game.” He told me today’s youth have so many more choices than we had and that the ways that they...
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