Course Description

This course explores the process of thinking critically and guides students in thinking more clearly, insightfully and effectively with a Hip-Hop lens. This means we will be critically analyzing works through the elements of Hip Hop such as graffiti, rapping and knowledge of self and community. Concrete examples from students’ experience and contemporary issues help students develop the abilities to solve problems, analyze issues, and make informed decisions in their academic, career and personal lives. Substantive readings, structured writing assignments and ongoing discussions help students develop language skills while fostering sophisticated thinking abilities.

Course Objectives

  1. Critical Reading: Students will learn to read texts thoroughly, identifying key terms and the structure of arguments therein.

  2. Critical Thinking: Students will learn to identify and assess valid sources of information, questioning their own assumptions and evaluating situations from a variety of perspectives. They will analyze arguments, deciding if they are sound and complete and will construct counter- arguments to the arguments presented (even if they happen to agree with the initial position presented).

  3. Problem Solving: Students will develop the ability to solve problems through careful analysis and creativity, making informed decisions using evidence and reason to support their ideas.

  4. Oral Expression: Students will learn how to articulate philosophical argumentation orally. They will perfect the art of presenting their own views with clarity and concision.

  5. Dialogue: Students will engage in rigorous and respectful conversation with classmates, considering others’ views objectively and fairly.


The following is a breakdown of the overall work we will be completing during the semester. If you need further time or assistance for an assignment, email me or speak to me directly. If you are late to submit an assignment and have not requested an extension via email or spoken to me in class, you will not be able to submit it for grading.

Attendance 20%

*Attendance means being fully present in mind as well as body (not texting or referring to smartphones, etc., showing courteous attention to others, and interacting with other members of the class).

Class Participation 20%

This is a student-centered course; therefore, your participation is critical in the learning process. You have been on this planet for at least 15 years. Your voice is as important as the works we read and view. You are also an expert in your life and will come to the class with knowledge that is unique and informative—share it!

*Respect is a major element in this class. There will be no tolerance for disrespect of any kind in class. 

Responses 40%

There will be seven assigned responses to the readings and conversations in class. Most of these responses will be in essay form of 250-800 words. When otherwise instructed, you can be as creative as you would like such as a poster, poem, drawing and/or audio (this is a tech school).

Final Project 20%


Disclaimer: Considering the content of this course, it is important to acknowledge that some topics may be triggering. Some students may not even be aware that there is latent trauma until certain readings or topics are brought up. It is important for all students to know this going into the class. If students need a moment to step out, that is understandable. The professor is not a therapist, but would gladly assist any student to get the support they need.