Did you know that November is Hip-Hop History month? Whether you are a huge fan, a mild enthusiast, or would prefer to hear anything else when your kids are controlling the music, you can’t deny that hip-hop has had a significant influence on modern culture. Harvard University’s Hip Hop Archive, which is devoted to the serious study of hip hop music and culture, has recently announced the establishment of the Nasir Jones Hiphop Fellowship. This fellowship, generously funded by an anonymous donor, is named for the rapper Nas, a lyrical poet who is a widely recognized leader of hip-hop’s “Knowledge is power” movement. You can read more about the Hip Hop Archive here. And as you may recall from an earlier GCP post, hip hop artist GZA from the Wu-Tang Clan has joined forces with educators to use hip-hop to encourage children’s interest in science. (“Hip Hop Science Teachers Spreading the Word”, November 18, 2012)

Check your local papers and local websites to see how Hip-Hop History Month is being celebrated in your town. Consider attending an event with your son or daughter (provided they are fans, of course). If you live in the NYC area, the New York Public Library is offering a series of events celebrating Hip-hop History Month that night be of interest:

Hip-Hop Education Think Tank III: Legacy Building – Cultivating a Global Cipher from the Streets to the Classroom

Hip-Hop History Workshop for Teens: B-Boy & B-Girl Dancing with Kwikstep and Rokafella

Hip-Hop History Workshop for Teens: DJing with DJ Wiz

Hip-Hop History Workshop for Teens: Graffiti/Aerosol Art with James Top

Whether or not you like the music, it is a good idea to know something about it, especially if your son or daughter is obsessed with the latest hip hop hits. A secret weapon to understanding current hip-hop music is Rap Genius. Rap Genius gives you annotated lyrics to all the latest songs. They call themselves “a hip-hop Wikipedia”. We at GCP call them a fast and easy way to figure out what the rappers are saying and what it means. Do you really want to know, you might ask? Yes. Gives you insight as to what your children are hearing and thinking about and enables you to determine whether they are mature enough to handle the material. And it actually gives you a better appreciation of the poetry behind some of the songs. Check it out, and enjoy Hip-Hop History Month!