A US university is offering a course in the relationship between Jay Z and Kanye West.
The pair’s friendship and status will be dissected by English students at the University of Missouri.
According to Consequence of Sound, the class will explore the duo’s intertwined careers from three perspectives: “(1) Where do they fit within, and how do they change, the history of hip-hop music?; (2) How is what they do similar to and different from what poets do?, and (3) How does their rise to both celebrity and corporate power alter what we understand as the American dream?”
Speaking about the overall academic aim of the course, instructor Andrew Hoberek explained: “I really do think that these guys are warming up to the level of major poets, and not many people think of it in those terms. Because it’s not just on a page, but it’s video art, too. So, we looked at how those complicated the questions, and how do books about poetry help us to understand rap with Jay and Kanye at the forefront. We looked at the larger history of rap as an art form. Specifically, how, especially with Blueprint 3 and Yeezus, there’s an identifiable push to get beyond what’s happening in the art form. They’re very much like painters and novelists in the 20th century, moving beyond the confines of the art form’s boundaries.”
In 2011, Georgetown University offered a class on the sociology of Jay Z. Meanwhile, hip-hop academic Julius Bailey will soon publish his paper on an “examination of the zeitgeist known as Yeezy”.