I thought of this statement when I read a quotation from Professor Adam Bradley who is rapidly becoming a go-to media authority on hip-hop and rap. I tend to find these sorts of things more than silly and downright dangerous to any school that pretends to have a literature department.
What's next? A professor of comic books or nursery rhymes?
But a liberal arts education ought to be concerned with the great, the magnificent, ways in which mankind seeks to perpetuate his own freedom. It ought not to be concerned with the trivial, say, like hip hop. But read this quotation anyways, if only to get a sense of how our college may be coming to be perceived.
I couldn't have said it better. Rap is childish and the more common means of "grinding" would be more akin to animalistic than human. It's certainly conduct unbecoming of a gentleman.
"There is a growing sensibility that is recognizing that hip-hop is where poetry lives today in so many ways," said Adam Bradley, an assistant professor of African-American literature at Claremont McKenna College in California who is an editor of a coming anthology of rap lyrics for Yale University Press.
Bradley added that, for children, hip-hop is a natural way to learn the basics of poetry.
"The kinds of word games that children naturally create," he said, "mirror hip-hop in its most basic forms."
For those seeking a real education in literature, I recommend Robert Faggen's course on Robert Frost. Never have I learned so much in so little time.