Intro to Lit: Culture & Lit

ENG 271 Intro to Lit: Culture or 272 Intro to Lit: Genre: Hip Hop as Literature: Raptivism


Expanded Course Description:

This course is focused on Hip Hop as literature and the subgenre of Raptivism. Raptivism is a term used to describe Rap and activism. Since Hip Hop was birthed out of oppression of Black people and Puerto Ricans in New York, it has been used since to speak about social injustice. Other people of color and Indigenous artists have also used Hip Hop as a form of storytelling and a way to also speak about injustices done to their own communities. In this course students will learn about the history of Hip Hop and its relationship to activism in different artists’ songs but also the relationship to their work outside of their music. Students will also engage in different ethical questions surrounding Hip Hop (in general). For example, if Hip Hop is a Black (American) art form how do other Indigenous and/or PoC navigate their place in the genre? Do they have a place? Can you ethically produce Hip Hop being a non-Black Indigenou and/or non-Black person of color? Where are the women and queer folks in Hip Hop and in different subgenres (ie “Raptivism”). There will be specific artists and songs from the continental US introduced throughout the course but a large portion will focus on artists from Hawaii but this isn’t a complete list and students will collaborate in creating a larger archive of artists/songs that fall under the Raptivism genre.


Required Texts:

Travis Jr., Raphael. The Healing Power of Hip Hop (Intersections of Race, Ethnicity, and Culture). Praeger, 2015. 

Punahele. From Beneath Mt. Kaʻala. 2018.

Punahele. The Menehune Giant. 2019.

Doctabarz (Cross, Keith). The Kings Lessons Vol. 1. 2020.

Illnomadic. Second Language. 2019.

Paniolo Prince and His Queen Maile. The Tip of the Spear – Ka Maka o Ka Ihe. 2018.

Hou!Kanaka. He Wahi Ma Waena. 2018.

Other songs, artists, etc will be provided throughout the semester in class or via Laulima.

Other articles/PDFs via Laulima.