Hip Hop and Higher Education: How to Bring It Together

4 Mins read

Hip Hop & Higher Education

How to Bring It Together

One of the most popular genres in the music world is hip-hop. Some of its unique elements include rhythmic beats and a strong rapping vocal track. It was born back in the 70s in New York City. The Latino, Black, and Caribbean youth used it as a means of cultural exchange. Since then, it has grown to become one of the leading genres not only in the United States but also in other parts of the world.

Hip-hop is made up of four major categories namely graffiti, breakdancing, DJing, and rapping. Since it was born, it has led to the creation of other subgenres such as rap rock, bounce, trap, crunk, Latin hip-hop, mumble rap, and conscious hip-hop. The youth love hip-hop music. Since higher learning institutions are mainly comprised of the youth, it makes sense to use hip-hop to promote education. If you’ve been wondering how this can be done, this article is for you.

Why use hip-hop in higher learning institutions?

Hip-hop education is gradually growing to become a leading movement in the world today thanks to its relevance in the modern world and its tendency to connect with learners. Using hip-hop to develop class content and deliver it effectively will help learners understand important concepts and achieve their academic goals easily. Apart from using hip-hop, tutors should encourage to learn how to write a problem statement and read essay samples online regularly. Consulting the experts when it comes to writing complex assignments will not only help you save time but also achieve your academic and career goals easily. Here are some of the reasons why using hip-hop in class is beneficial for your students:

1.     Speaks the language they understand

Since the 1970s, hip-hop has been a key pillar of the youth culture. It has been popular for a long time. And it has played an important role in shaping several generations. It is the ideal genre to use in the education space because it has the power to create and maintain a strong connection with its fans. At the heart of hip-hop culture is oral tradition – a universal and integral ingredient of human nature. Since it is closely related to the youth, it makes sense to use it as a tool to help learners develop important skills that they need at home or school.

2.     Promotes mutual language

Most academic experts usually discourage the use of hip-hop in learning institutions because it can be a source of distraction. Some of them have reported that it’s socially inappropriate and promotes bad behavior. While everything has its downsides, it doesn’t mean that you should cease promoting hip-hop education in class. Using this genre in class will have a huge impact on student’s learning process. They’ll appreciate the time and effort that you put in to connect with them. They’ll engage freely with you and show you respect.

Your class will become a safe space and they’ll get to learn in the context of culture. The genre will force you to discuss important topics such as identity, hate, poverty, race, and family. These are some of the things that your learners think about every day when they should be working on their assignments and preparing for upcoming tests. Using hip-hop in class will demonstrate to your students that you acknowledge your students’ hate, pain, injustice, and anger. And they’ll respect you. Another important thing about hip-hop is it doesn’t tolerate silence. It’s about discussing and solving the problems that we face in life.

3.     Modeling positive attitudes and behaviors

When using hip-hop in class, you’ll help learners understand the ideology of taking the good and filtering the rest. This is an important aspect of life that every student needs to learn about. Students will learn that the best response to adversity is not despair, flight, or dismissal. It is discussion, action, and collaboration.

4.     Overcoming fear

Hip-hop education gives you a chance to engage with other students not only about academic activities but also about their personal lives. If students don’t learn how to handle their cultures and lives, they’ll always be fearful when they face problems.

How to use hip-hop in class

Here are some of the best ways that educators can use to help learners connect strongly with academic concepts and themselves:

1.     Write on the board boldly

Graffiti is used in hip-hop to convey important messages. Similarly, students can treat chalkboards or whiteboards to illustrate and explain important academic concepts. Using symbols and characters as visual representations will help students learn effectively and get good grades.

2.     Encourage learners to move around

Similar to break-dancing in the hip-hop culture, teaching with hip-hop offers a wide range of opportunities for learners to participate in physical learning activities. For instance, if you are teaching about states of matter and energy, you can encourage your students to imagine themselves as particles moving around the room. As energy increases, they should move close to each other at a faster rate.

3.     Set the mood using music

The primary duty of a DJ is to play music and set the mood for the hip-hop event or show. Learners can come up with playlists featuring their favorite instrumentals. These playlists can be played during group or independent work. And this can go a long way in promoting learning.

4.     Work on relevant social projects

Hip-hop is a genre that is focused on helping people know themselves and live authentic lives. When it is used in class, it will help learners improve the quality of their lives and make a difference in society. It will encourage your students to be aware of the problems that exist in society and encourage them to raise awareness through expression.


Using hip-hop will encourage learners to know themselves, understand the problems that they face and support their academic progression. Implementing this teaching technique in class is easy. All you have to do is use the tips that we’ve discussed and encourage learners to participate.

 Author Bio:

Cory Shilling is a professional academic writer and editor. She interacts with learners regularly and researches extensively on the problems they face every day. She is passionate about conversing with young adults, reading literature and listening to music.