N.C. A&T English Professor Launches Hip-Hop Digital Textbook

By Markita C. Rowe / 11/22/2023 College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Nov. 22, 2023) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University English professor bryon turman — known for his contributions to various hip-hop publications and as a scholarly reviewer for the Global Journal of Hip-Hop Culture — has unveiled his latest project: a digital textbook, “Beyond Music & Culture: How Hip-Hop Shaped the Post-Industrial Landscape.”

Turman’s book is being published as this year marks the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, a cultural movement that rose from humble beginnings in New York to fuel a worldwide phenomenon. Today, rap music is the most popular genre of music, featuring artists such as Jay-Z, Drake, 50 Cent and Eminem.

The digital textbook, in collaboration with Great River Learning’s interactive platform, goes beyond conventional teaching methods by offering immersive assignments, knowledge checks, videos and quizzes to enhance student comprehension and learning.

In this work, turman investigates the culture of hip-hop and its significant impact on society. “Beyond Music & Culture” traces the roots of hip-hop, explores core elements such as breakdancing and the role of MCs, and analyzes the significance of graffiti art in reclaiming urban spaces and making powerful statements.

“I see hip-hop as an extension of Black and brown creativity,” said turman. “No discussion of hip-hop could be complete without connecting it to previous forms of Black and brown popular culture.”

The digital textbook also explores the socioeconomic aspects of hip-hop, revealing how it serves as a pathway to financial success for artists and entrepreneurs.

Turman said his two hip-hop related courses, ENGL 209: The History, Literary Connections & Social Relevance of Hip Hop and ENGL 316: Hip Hop Discourse, created in 2007, are the reasons he wrote the textbook.

“I quickly realized that no one textbook could cover the immense and ever-changing landscape of hip-hop music and culture,” said turman. “From that moment, I envisioned crafting my own text. I’ve been teaching each course since, and the spirit to add to the academic conversation about hip-hop persists.

“‘Beyond Music & Culture’ is a resource for those looking to impart a deeper understanding of hip-hop’s societal impact to their students,” he said.

Media Contact Information: mcrowe@ncat.edu

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