Kanye West may have foretold the future when he sang, “They got the Drop Out keepin' kids in the school,” because one university is taking an in-depth look on how the rapper has affected society.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Wednesday that 75 Washington University students in St. Louis are registered for “Politics of Kanye West: Black Genius and Sonic Aesthetics.” The class began last week and there is a long line of students waiting for others to drop the class.
Dr. Jeff McCune is the professor of the class. He told the newspaper that the course will focus on the rapper, producer and fashion designer and sees the class as a way for students to connect issues of politics, race, gender, sexuality and culture.
“I always wanted to teach a course looking at black genius and the impossibility of black genius for the American public,” he said. “We’re always thought of as maybe being articulate or smart but not really genius.”
McCune is an associate professor in the African-American studies and the Women, Gender and Sexuality departments.
It's not the first college course about West. Georgia State University offered one in 2015, and a 2014 course at the University of Missouri focused on West and Jay-Z.
McCune says the court will neither fawn over West's music nor be an exercise in bashing him.
Some of the topics on the course syllabus include: “Who is Kanye West and Why Is He in the Flashing Lights?” “Touch the Sky, When the Aspirant Turns Genius,” “Father Stretch My Hands, or How Hip-Hop Takes Us to Church,” “Love Lock Down, or Hip-Hop’s Queer Love Languages,” and “I Love Kanye, or How Critique Slips Into Hate.”
He added that the class will talk extensively on the West, Taylor Swift incident at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.