Kendrick Lamar Inspires College Course

Class lecturer Adan Diehl chose to focus on K. Dot's debut album because of the “complexity of its storytelling.”

Posted: 08/20/2014 02:18 PM EDT

Kendrick Lamar will join the likes of academically studied Diddy and Jay Z as his debut album becomes the focal point of a Georgia Regents University English composition class.

The Compton rapper’s complex storytelling abilities inspired lecturer Adam Diehl to create the freshman course "Good Kid, Mad Cities," which is the first class to use Kendrick’s album for its primary source material.

“I decided to center the class on good kid, m.A.A.d city because I think Kendrick Lamar is the James Joyce of hip hop — i.e., in the complexity of his storytelling, in his knowledge of the canon, and in his continuing focus on the city of his upbringing, Compton," Diehl told HipHopDX.

While the course will focus on K. Dot's album, it also will include literature—James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Gwendolyn Brooks' Selected Poems and James Baldwin's Going to Meet the Man—as well as the movie Boyz N The Hood.

Typically more seasoned albums are used in college courses, but according to Diehl, Kendrick’s 2012 debut is "worthy of university status."

"The lasting historical influence of good kid, m.A.A.d city has yet to be determined, but the album surely has brought new listeners to the genre because of the curiosity surrounding its instant acclaim," he said. "The class will hopefully produce much discussion about the issues that Joyce/Baldwin/Brooks/Singleton/Lamar raise, and hopefully the content of the class will inspire students to find an outlet to bring some sanity to our own mad city, Augusta." 

The "Good Kid, Mad Cities" class kicked off on Tuesday (Aug. 19).

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