In this neck of the woods, Kendrick Lamar‘s landmark good kid mAAd city LP has already been the subject of countless scholarly discussions. Whether you liken his fluid, endearing and immensely sobering opus to James Joyce or Baldwin or a sonic rendition of The Wire, it can hardly be argued that there’s a whole lot beneath those hardened words and dynamic productions that still needs to be hashed out and examined through a more defined scope. Georgia Regents University English professor Adam Diehl seems to have gotten a similar hunch; that there’s more to K. Dot’s sophomore LP than a raspy MC and some good hooks.
He’s taken it upon himself to examine the album’s narrative, the cultural, societal and political influences that shaped it and how those sentiments project across a vast media landscape. You can read the course description for yourself below or just go enroll yourself on the school’s site today. Let’s hope Lamar’s piece isn’t the only to get the academic stamp, as a proper examination of Ilmatic, Life Styles Ov Da Poor & Dangerous and Ready To Die have been long over due.
“Taking its name from Kendrick Lamar’s 2012 album, this course will examine the role of urban living on the development of young people. In Kendrick’s case, “the streets sure to release the worst side of my best” (Lamar 58). By studying and analyzing various literature, films, and K. Dot’s album, we will consider what effects our characters’ surroundings have on who they become as adults. The cities we will be visiting, in our imaginations, are Dublin, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Assignments will include a substantial research paper, stemming from the topics inherent in our texts; students should also expect other writing assignments, such as short papers and online discussion posts.”