ARMSTRONG STATE UNIVERSITY’S PROFESSOR BELIEVES AN OUTKAST COLLEGE COURSE WILL TEACH STUDENTS ABOUT CIVIL RIGHTS IN THE SOUTH…I THINK NOT!!!
DISCLAIMER: I ABSOLUTELY LOVE OUTKAST. The OutLast concert was amazing.
However, do I think an Outkast college course is a necessary course for a college student to learn? NO. Let me warm up this article with facts before I drown you in my opinions because I certainly have a lot.
Professor Regina Bradley Ph.D, at Armstrong State University in Savannah, GA, created a course that will focus on Outkast and other hip hop artist’s music to study how rap is an outlet for political expression. The course, “Outkast and the Rise of Hip-Hop South”, will be studied in an upper-level English class on the university’s campus. Student’s will be analyzing Big Boi and Andre’ 3000’s albums to connect with politics and contemporary movements like Black Lives Matter. The conclusion of the course will be to write a 12-15 page final project on the Outkast album of their choice and give a discussion on the themes they notice.
Professor Bradley wants the students to learn how southern culture can seep into southern expressions of art. I get it–who doesn’t get it? It’s like that saying, “You are a product of your environment.” Does that actually need to be taught to college students though? I may be completely biased from growing up on the WestCoast where music and civil rights went hand-in-hand concerning activists groups like the Black Panthers and music groups like N.W.A. There was that whole timeline where music was relevant in discussions because people were exercising their rights of free speech and exposing the injustices in relation to police brutality and prejudices. These were things that definitely needed to be discussed in school because it was relevant. Not to say that Outkast isn’t relevant–actually, they aren’t relevant. They haven’t started any political or activist movements concerning civil rights that can be documented in history. Yes, they paved a way for southern hip-hop and grandfathered the path for other artists, but that’s about it. Anybody can get up and rap about poverty and injustice, but do they deserve to waste kids precious time and money through a college course? No.
Tell me this, where will credit hours of Outkast 101 Courses get me in life?