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Mumbai: Vile Parle college to start course in Hip-Hop from March

The 60-hour certificate course, originally meant to be launched in the year 2018, was under review by an expert committee and the final approval came only in 2019, making it the first course of its kind to be offered by a university in the country

Hip-hop artiste Divine. File Pic

A college in Vile Parle is all set to start the first batch in Introduction to Hip-Hop studies almost a year after the course was approved by the University of Mumbai (MU).

Usha Pravin Gandhi College (UPG College) in Vile Parle will be starting the first batch this March and registrations for the same have already begun, stated a report in Hindustan Times.

“While hip-hop has been practised as a performing art, with it being added in academics will give an in-depth knowledge of the subject to students who wish to study it as a culture,” said Yatindra Ingle, a professor at the college.

Ingle helped design the curriculum and will now be coordinating the course at UPG College.

The 60-hour certificate course, originally meant to be launched in the year 2018, was under review by an expert committee and the final approval came only in 2019, making it the first course of its kind to be offered by a university in the country.

The approval process for the course had some roadblocks, and a committee had to be set up to make sure that a subject like hip-hop could be taught.

Ingle, who himself has been rapping for over than a decade and also emcees rap battles in and around the city, said the course will teach hip-hop as a medium of communication and take students back to the roots when African Americans and other oppressed groups in the US used it to make their voices heard. “The course will take students back to the days when hip-hop first was introduced on the streets of the US as a platform to speak out against oppression, violence, identity, culture as well as power,” added Ingle.

Sanjay Ranade, associate professor, department of communication and journalism, MU, was also part of the formulation of this course along with Ingle and will now be part of the course.

“My focus will be on lyrical development in the Indian hip-hop scenario, especially in Indian languages. I feel this will be unique to India,” he said.

The certificate programme will take students from a basic introduction to the art form to the politics attached to it, women in hip-hop and the art form that goes beyond borders and the economic status of the performer.

Along with weekend classes where students will be introduced to the concept with the help of experts from the industry, they will also be part of practical sessions and will have to give written exams to pass the course.

Not only will this course bring together artists from India, but the institute is also trying to rope in international hip-hop artists.

Ambarin Kadri aka Am-B, a Hip-hop artist and faculty of this program said, “Hip-hop in academics would work as a good bridge between the real Hip-Hop community and the younger generation that’s interested in learning in-depth about it. We as artists get the opportunity to impart the right knowledge and pass on our life-changing experiences first hand with the younger generation.”

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