Brush up on those term paper ideas. Michael Eric Dyson's new Georgetown University course has begun, and by the looks of a recent Washington Post article, students with finely tuned BS generators could enjoy a distinct advantage. Remember how we originally reported that the class would be called "Sociology of Hip-Hop: Jay-Z"? Well, it's actually called "Sociology of Hip-Hop — Urban Theodicy of Jay-Z."
That one change pretty much sets the tone for the article's other revelations about Jay-Z 101. Gawker has already come down hard on Dyson, saying the well-regarded professor and author "doesn't know shit about hip-hop." And far be it from us to pile on — especially when it comes to someone whom Jay-Z once called, in an introduction to Dyson's 2007 book Know What I Mean, "the most brilliant interpreter of hip-hop culture we have."
It's a lot more fun to let the quotes from the Post's article speak for themselves. Ranging from impenetrable jargon to goofy slang, here are seven of the funniest:
• "Jay-Z is speaking about the imagistic conception of blackness that is evoked in a white world thinking about black culture." (Dyson)
• "What's the intellectual, theological, philosophical predicate for Jay-Z's argument?" (Dyson)
• "This is not a class meant to sit around and go, 'Oh man, those lyrics were dope.'" (Dyson)
• "Hip-hop didn't exist when my parents were growing up with Billy Joel and Van Morrison and the Rolling Stones ... My dad was like, 'Excuse me? What?'" (a sophomore at Georgetown, where annual tuition is currently $40,920)
• "I see my tongue as a bridge over which ideas can travel back and forth." (Dyson, on being a "tweener, man": too young for the civil rights movement, too old for hip-hop)
• "I spit him some rhymes on text ... How crazy am I?" (Dyson, on texting rap lyrics to Jay-Z)
• "Hearing great things about the class! Thank you and keep representing the poetry! Respect, j." (Jay-Z, in a return text quoted by the Post, although Jay declined to be interviewed for the article)