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Digging into the Roots of Rap

Submitted by Humanities Web Project on May 9, 2021 - 5:00pm
Montage of musicians in genres that have influence rap, including blues, jazz, funk, and African drumming.
Montage of musicians in genres that influenced rap music.

In "Roots and Routes of Rap," students learn how the blues, jazz, funk, gospel, and African drumming have influenced rap music.  


Students in the course “Roots & Routes of Rap” have sung drum patterns with an African drummer from Guinea. Sung African American spirituals with the director of a gospel choir. Penned lyrics and set down beats with a local rap musician and DJ. Hands-on experiences are at the heart of the course, offered by the UW School of Music (SoM) for the first time this quarter.

As the course title suggests, the class explores rap music and the musical genres that have contributed to its development. SoM professor...

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