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New Orleans Hip Hop

Adapted from Tulane University ADST 1550

New Orleans hiphop is a complex musical tradition encompassing a wide array of sites, sounds, personalities, customs, and rituals. This course is intended to teach students about the source influences of the culture's musical components, including Afrobeats, brass, jazz, blues, and bounce; its polyrhythmic dance structures; and its signature aesthetics, which combine antiphony, chants, and call-outs and incorporate this combination in both musical and dance expressions. Students will explore how expressive elements of the culture inform larger issues of community, resource distribution, placement, and displacement that have historically distinguished New Orleans as a pivotal location within the African Diaspora. The required service-learning component of the course guides students through the design, alignment, and preparation of K-12 lesson plans that highlight key locations, personalities and events within New Orleans.

Course PDF

Nghana Lewis

Associate Professor of English & ADST

Nghana Lewis holds the Louise & Leonard Riggio Professorship in Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship and is jointly appointed in English and African & African Diaspora Studies. Her areas of research include black literary and cultural studies; criminal justice reform; K12 education; and HIV/AIDS. Dr Lewis is the recipient of the 2010 Suzanne & Stephen Weiss Presidential Fellowship for excellence in undergraduate teaching and founding faculty coordinator of Tulane’s South Africa Summer Study Abroad (SASSA) program. Currently, she serves as interim director of Tulane’s program for Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship.

Course Chapters

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    The West African and African American oral traditions of the “Black Atlantic,” as post-colonial studies scholar Paul Gilroy has termed it,…

  • About This Chapter

    New Orleans hiphop and bounce are diverse musical genres directly and mutually influenced by sustained interaction with a myriad of other…

  • About This Chapter

    Born from African American aesthetic traditions of the South and developed in the Bronx and greater New York City into a…

  • About This Chapter

    Although the series of cultural and musical events leading up to the concretization of what we now call “hiphop” began in…

  • About This Chapter

    Of the countless rural and city centers that informed the rise of hiphop in the American South — Houston, Memphis, Miami,…

  • About This Chapter

    New Orleans "rap" and "bounce" traditions are not rigid; one form bleeds into the next and there is sustained influence and…

  • About This Chapter

    Grassroots musical forms are often an immensely important tool in global political and social justice movements, and hiphop is no exception.…

  • About This Chapter

    Whether you like the term "sissy bounce" or not, for better or worse that label has become the most widely used…