Learning English Through Hip Hop

and Hip Hop Through English


It is fascinating to see how a whole culture is developed through music and how politics and world issues impact the music that is written. That's what the article BACK IN THE DAY is about.

As you read this section, answer the questions listed below. At the end of the reading your ASSIGNMENT is to do a mini research project on one of the artists in the article. More details on that later...

The History....

1) What were the West African griots?

2) During the Civil Rights Movement, The Last Poets spoke out against what?

3) Watch this video to find out more about the Civil Rights Movement. Why might such a movement inspire the early roots of hip-hop culture?

4) Check out the song The Revolution Will Not Be Televised that is mentioned in the article. What are your thoughts on it? Were there any images you felt were strange or shocking in the video?

The Elements...

5) What was the FIRST ELEMENT that helped hip hop take shape? Why?

6) What was the SECOND ELEMENT?

7) Why was hip hop invented?

8) What was the THIRD ELEMENT?

9) Check out the styles of dance in the videos below. Are there any similarities to today's dance styles?

Don Campbellock Campbell Represents
Shabba Doo basics of Locking 1983


A lot of names are mentioned in this article. Choose one of the people mentioned who interests you and research about this person online. Become an expert on that individual.

Then you'll write a short report on this person. Specifically you should look for:
  • where he is from
  • what he is known for
  • the messages he gives in his lyrics
  • who influenced him
  • and share a sample of his lyrics

The above questions can be answered by copying information from the internet, but your final report MUST be in your own words.