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Hip Hop Culture & the Legacy of Tupac Shakur

Program #DYSM002. Recorded in Boulder, CO on April 10, 2004.

Audio sample:

Rap music and hip hop culture have achieved influence and popularity with youth across the globe. Rising from the inner cities of LA and New York, the music has given birth to an entire generation of charismatic street poets. But with the current glorification of the "gansta" image by the music industry, hip hop's once vibrant political edge is now portrayed as materialistic, misogynistic, shallow and violent. Tupac Shakur, murdered in 1996, remains a powerful presence and influence on the hip hop scene. The son of a former Black Panther Party member, he is considered one of the greatest hip hop poets of his generation. With haunting lyrics and the freshest beats he challenged the political system and captured the complex and frustrated realities of African-American youth.


Michael Eric Dyson

Michael Eric Dyson is University Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University, teaching courses in theology, English, and African American studies. A dynamic speaker, he lectures widely. Among his many books are Know What I Mean?: Reflections on Hip-Hop, April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King's Death and How it Changed America, The Black Presidency and Tears We Cannot Stop.

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