All You Need To Know About India’s First Hip-Hop Certification Course

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SVKM’s Usha Pravin Gandhi College of Management in Mumbai is the only college in India to start a hip-hop certification course.

Initially, the course was approved in December 2019 and was a collaboration with The Dharavi Project, and was supposed to be held on the Mumbai University campus. However, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, not only pushed the launch of this course but also resulted in it not being a collaboration anymore. Instead, SVKM’s UPG college took it up as a value-added 60-hour certificate course by itself. “This course is open to any student who is desirous of picking up an extra skill and it is a combination of both, practical and theoretical,” says Dr Anju Kapoor, principal of UPG College. ‘Introduction to Hip-Hop Studies’ has been designed and curated by Dr Yatindra Ingle, who is not only a hip-hop artist and an emcee but also a mass media professor at UPG College.

This is an initiative where hip hop can be understood and learnt from the ground root level. The course won’t be directly teaching the students to do hip-hop and perform it, but rather educate them about hip-hop, and its history. This course encompasses a myriad of subjects such as culture and politics of hip-hop, activism through hip-hop, civil rights and Afro-American era, gendered hip-hop, misogyny, homophobia, women of colour, feminism and hip-hop, race, caste and hip-hop, graffiti and many more. There will be practical sessions to support these theory subjects. Presentations, case studies, filming documentaries, producing beats, writing and producing raps, documenting hip-hop battles in the city, running a hip-hop campaign and a blog are the kinds of practical sessions students will be working on. There will also be a workshop on writing a research paper on hip-hop and organising a hip-hop jam. Since this course is a blend of theory and practical sessions through assignments, it will also have a classroom examination. Experts from the hip-hop scene will be called in as guest lecturers for each subject to tell them about the ‘scene.’

The first batch of this course will begin in March and the admission forms will be out on UPG college’s website this week. The fees will be INR 7000 but the division of this 60-hour course shall be mutually discussed between the students and the course co-ordinator.

“Many hip hop artists I have spoken to have left their education to pursue their passion and later on even if they want to study something, they often find it difficult and chaotic. To such people, I’d like to say that this is your chance. Through this course they can get back to studying something they are passionate about or just want more knowledge about this form of art,” comments Dr Ingle, who is also the course co-ordinator.

Keep a lookout for the admissions forms which will be out this week here as the admission will be on first come first basis and the maximum seats available is 30. More information about the course structure below:

Eligibility: A student for the admission of Certificate Course in Introduction to HipHop Studies must have at least completed his/her Higher Secondary Education (HSC i.e. 10+2) of Maharashtra State Board or any other equivalent board.

Teaching Methodology: The Methodology shall include classroom teaching, assignments, practical work, Workshop,
project work, group activity, role play, etc

Objectives and learning of the module of the course:
At the end of the course, a student should be able to analyze the social and historical roots of hip-hop, as well as the major debates over its practice around the world. Through readings and lectures that engage with theories, students will learn to think critically about the connections between urban, street culture, commercial aspects and alternative platforms of Hip-Hop. Through secondary focus on the effects of technological innovation on musical style, students will learn to read critically about global aesthetic practices consumed over the internet as well as publish their researches for Hip-Hop.

  • Understand the various elements that comprise Hip Hop as well as the variety of
  • forms that Hip Hop takes
  • Develop an appreciation of the cultural, political, and artistic value of Hip Hop
  • Understand the nuances of mainstream Hip Hop, conscious rap and underground Hip Hop
  • Create Hip Hop inspired art, music, documentations.
  • Organize a Hip-Hop Jam
  • Develop critical thinking and writing skills as well as skills of observation, synthesis, and connection
  • The students will learn the factors that gave birth to Hip Hop
  • The students will synthesize theories to analyze Hip Hop as a political movement,
  • generation, performance, gender, and body politics
  • The student will outline the major movements, figures, ideals, and scholarship on Hip Hop
  • The Student will understand the critiques and drawbacks of Hip Hop culture and
  • generation
  • The students will establish connections between disciplines and pursue knowledge through a variety of sources
  • The students will analyze print and non-print materials, make comparisons of particulars, draw and support conclusions