Bettina Judd | Author of Patient

Bettina Judd

Art. Feminism. Femme Fire.

Hip Hop and Sexuality


Course Description:

Hip Hop music has often been the subject of controversy when it comes to sexuality. Whether it be for misogynist lyrics, homophobic icons or sexually explicit video models, conversations about sexuality and Hip Hop are largely portrayed as having two sides: those who embrace Hip Hop and the "sexuality police." In this class we will explore how conversations about sexuality happen within the communities who are invested in the culture. We will examine how different facets of the culture -- fashion, dance, music, film as well as rap music -- display and talk about sexuality and sexual identity and how these representations impact U.S. popular culture.

Course Objectives:

•    Students will be able to discuss the themes surrounding central debates about hip hop and sexuality.
•    Students will be able to discuss hip hop as a culture with its own aesthetics.
•    Students will be able to identify and discuss topics and debates in hip hop feminism.


Course Outline

Hip Hop’s Aesthetics (& some sex too)


Monday, January 27, 2014

Introduction, Syllabus Review and Discussion


Monday, February 3, 2014


From Blues Legacies and Black Feminism – Angela Y. Davis

     Ch. 1 “I Used to be Your Sweet Mama”

     Ch. 6 “Up in Harlem Every Saturday night”

     Ch. 2 “Mama’s Got the Blues”

From To the Break of Dawn: A Freestyle on the Hip Hop Aesthetic – Jelani Cobb

Chs. 1 & 3 “The Roots” and “Word of Mouth”


See Mixtape #1


Monday, February 10, 2014


From That’s the Joint: The Hip Hop Studies Reader

     Ch. 30 “Airshafts, Loudspeakers, and the Hip Hop Sample: Contexts and African American Musical Aesthetics.”

From The Games Black Girls Play – Kyra Gaunt

     Ch. 1 “Slide: Games as Lessons in Black Musical Style”

     Ch. 4 “Saw You With Your Girlfriend”

From Mutha is Half a Word! – L.H. Stallings

Ch. 6 “Queen B(?)’s Queering of Neo-Soul Desire”

Ch. 7 “Representin’ for the Bitches: Queen B(?) in Hip-Hop Culture”




Hip Hop Debates

See Mixtape #2


Monday, February 17, 2014


The Hip Hop Wars: What We Talk about When we Talk about Hip Hop—and Why it Matters – Tricia Rose


Monday, February 24, 2014


Versus Hip Hop on Trial Debate – Versus Debates

Hip Hop Beyond Beats and Rhymes – Byron Hurt



Pussy Politics/Hip Hop’s Sexual Subjectives

See Mixtape #3


Monday, March 3, 2014

When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost – Joan Morgan


Monday, March 10, 2014 – Final Assignment Proposals Due

Confessions of a Video Vixen – Karrine Steffans


Monday, March 17, 2014 Spring Break



Monday, March 24, 2014

TwERK – Latasha Nevada Diggs


Monday, March 31, 2014 Mixtape work day – NO CLASS

Check it While I Wreck it: Black Womanood, Hip Hop and the Public Sphere – Gwendolyn Pough


Monday, April 7, 2014

Hiding in Hip Hop – Terrance Dean



Hip Hop as Sexual Space

See Mixtape #4


Monday, April 14, 2014

View U People

“’What’s up with that? She Don’t talk?’ Set it Off’s Black Lesbian Butch-Femme” – Kara Keeling The Witches Flight.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Hip Hop’s Li’l Sistas Speak: Negotiating Hip Hop Identities and Politics in the New South – Bettina Love


Monday, April 28, 2014 – Final Assignments Due

Mixtape Listening Party

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