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Can't Tell Me Nothing: The Development of Kanye West's Artistry

This course listing applies to a Spring 2016 course. To find current courses, check out the Find a Course page.

Spring 2016
Sociology 98/198
2 Unit(s)

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About the Course:

Whether it's through challenging 50 Cent in the 2006 record selling competition, the controversial "George Bush doesn't care about black people" line during the Hurricane Katrina Aid Telecast in the same year, suffering the tragic loss of his mother in 2007, contributing to the 2008 Bonnaroo 2am concert debacle, standing up for Beyonce at the 2009 VMAs, sporting a skirt to his 2010 Watch the Throne tour shows, or any other part of his overall artistic career…. Kanye West has affected us all, in one way or another. 

This class aims to investigate Kanye West's work as a producer and rapper through the lenses of his past albums, including:  College Dropout,  Late Registration, Graduation, 808s and Heartbreak, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Watch the Throne (collaboration with Jay-Z), and YEEZUS. Each week we will discuss the key pivot points in the development of his music. We will then study the corresponding major events in his personal life and in the timeline of the American rap music industry to determine some of the causes and influences behind Kanye's work.

This decal also encourages an analysis of the roles Kanye West's music (and rap music in general) play in our own lives - whether you consider yourself a rap music aficionado or a general music lover with an open mind. All discussions are held in a safe space where diversity in opinions and interpretations are welcomed and respected. Ultimately, we aim to help provide a further understanding of Kanye West's creative intentions in both production and performance by identifying recurring themes and trends throughout his discography.

Grading will be on a 2-unit P/NP system based on course attendance, a song analysis assignment on a track of your choice (in-class presentation), short weekly reflection papers, and a final paper/portfolio project.

How to Enroll:

Here is a link to the application: 

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1TxDv555a7GMMGklxYjGhZQCd7FO1Ar28RWw4l_W_Hiw/viewform?usp=send_form

This will be open till  11:59pm on Friday, January  29th, 2016.

Course Contact: ghassanmakhoul AT berkeley.edu

Time & Location:

SectionFacilitatorsSizeLocationTimeStartsStatusCCNs
Thursday Section[?]
Ghassan Makhoul
Nicholas Murphy
30TBATh 5p-7p2/04started
Wednesday Section[?]
[?]
30TBAW 5p-7p2/03started

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Course info last modified January 24, 2016. This page has been viewed 2438 times.

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