Why is Illmatic considered a “masterpiece” in the music and hip hop world? What do you make of the album as it relates to the complicated – often violent – nature of the content? In what ways is Illmatic critical of mass incarceration and the drug war? What stands out to you about Illmatic – the documentary and album? What is a mediated narrative and how can we understand the relationship between hip hop as mediated narrative and live performance? What is the difference between Capital H and lower h hip hop? There’s an endless debate over the varying elements that comprised the early formation of hip hop culture in the early ‘80s. Purists suggest that hip hop’s core foundation rests in the physical inclusion of the MC (performance artist), b-boy/girl (dancer), DJ (music orchestrator), and the graffiti writer (visual artist). In today’s performer-driven music culture, what type of intellectual connections do you—the student—make between art and music? How do your favorite performance artists incorporate visual art into their music? How does visual art influence the way you experience music on TV and the internet? What are the forces that bring visual art and music together?
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