Most people consider New York and Los Angeles to be the centers of hip-hop culture, but it’s Tucson where students will find the first university to offer a minor dedicated to the movement.
The University of Arizona has recently added the concentration to its Africana Studies minor program. The decision is part of a trend to give serious academic study to the subject.
The curriculum is bound to be a hit with students, said Alain-Philippe Durand, interim director of the Africana Studies program. Though the concentration is new, the university has offered hip-hop courses since 2004.
Last spring, a class on hip-hop cinema at the university filled up in a matter of hours. Students then began emailing the teacher in an attempt to add the course.
“Rap and hip-hop in general has become super-popular around the world,” Durand said. “The main reason for that is that it affects every single discipline and aspects of society.”