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Kendrick Lamar's album good Kid m.A.A.d city is one beautiful example of storytelling – one that relates Lamar's story of growing up in Compton, but makes the listener feel like you're right there with him. So it's perhaps no surprise that one enterprising English teacher from Georgia Regents University in Augusta, Georgia has decided to incorporate the record into his syllabus.
Kendrick's debut will be studied alongside James Joyce, James Baldwin and Pulitzer-winning poet Gwendolyn Brooks, as the class learns about literature that deals with growing up in Dublin, LA, New York and Chicago.
Speaking to Hip Hop DX, teacher Adam Diehl said: "I was given the opportunity to create my own theme for the class. 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."
Students will analyse the album and other selected texts with the task of writing a research paper about issues ranging from gang warfare, police brutality, racism, incarceration rates and human trafficking.
Diehl says that he hopes the class will "inspire students to find an outlet to bring some sanity to our own mad city, Augusta".
I spent so many days hoping and praying that my English teacher would say "OK kids, for the rest of term, we're going to be studying Dre's 2001". Jealousy doesn't cover it.
Watch the video for "Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe" below:
Follow Thomas Gorton on Twitter here @angstromhoot
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