College campuses have become rich sites of hip-hop culture and knowledge production. Despite the attention that campus personnel and researchers have paid to student life, the field of higher education has often misunderstood the ways that hip-hop culture exists in college students’ lives. Based upon in-depth interviews, observations of underground hip-hop spaces, and the author’s own active roles in hop-hop communities, this book provides a rich portrait of how college students who create hip-hop—both male and female, and of multiple ethnicities—embody its principles and aesthetics on campuses across the United States. The book looks beyond rap music, school curricula, and urban adolescents to make the empirical argument that hip-hop has a deep cultural logic, habits of mind, and worldview components that students apply to teaching, learning, and living on campus.

Hip-Hop Culture in College Students’ Lives provides critical insights for researchers and campus personnel working with college students, while pushing cultural observers to rethink the basic ways that people live hip-hop.

chapter 1|12 pages


Hip-Hop, College Students, and Campus Life

chapter 2|15 pages

Entering the Cipher

Methods, Approaches, and Sketches of the Settings

chapter 3|23 pages

Welcome to the Underground

Hip-Hop Places and Spaces Around Campus

chapter 4|17 pages

“Hip-Hop is Like Breathing”

Aesthetics, Applications, and Conflicts on Campus

chapter 5|17 pages

“I Look at Hip-Hop as a Philosophy”

Edutainment, Sampling, and Classroom Practices

chapter 6|17 pages

Knowing What's Up and Learning What You're Not Supposed To

The Parameters of Critical Consciousness in Black, White, and Brown

chapter 7|9 pages

Lessons from the Underground

A Model for Understanding Hip-Hop in Students' Lives