Rap, like many other musical genres, has been used to teach classes in high schools and colleges across the country for the composition and topicality of its lyrics as well as overall musical quality. The latest work in the classroom is Kendrick Lamar’s, whose album “Good Kid, m.A.A.d. City” is arguably one of the best of the decade, rap or otherwise.

College professor Adam Diehl is centering his composition class at Georgia Regents University around the acclaimed LP, along with the works of Gwendolyn Brooks, James Baldwin and John Singleton. He’s gone on record, calling Lamar the “James Joyce of hip-hop” in an interview with HipHopDX and hopes that the class will “provide much discussion about the issues that Joyce/Brooks/Baldwin/Singleton/Lamar raise…”

Here’s a list of six other MCs with work that speaks on a political, philosophical, musical, or diversity-based wavelength that could inspire classes of their own.     

Mos Def



Killer Mike 

A Tribe Called Quest  

Grandmaster Flash

Lauryn Hill


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