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Stephan Rhoden

Personal Project Proposal

For my personal project, I have decided to focus hip-hop music. My goals for this project are to create a palatable and interesting way for people in the Cedar International School community to view this amazingly complex genre of music as a whole, as well as to showcase my thoughts and other peoples thoughts of the genre, and while doing so erasing some of the preconceived notions of hip-hop music to allow people to experience what rap really is in its entirety. Although I am specifically interested in using my personal project as a forum through which I will be able to teach, there is of course knowledge that I wish to obtain from this project. Through this project I am really interested to learn what all of the different types of people in our community think about hip-hop music: do they see it as a positive or negative element in society, why, what do those who listen to varied types and artists of hip-hop think about the progression and current state of the genre, why dont those who listen to hip-hop music but only listen to one type of music or a few artists take the time to do their research and become a well rounded listener and a possible connoisseur of the genre. I would like to relay what I learn to the Cedar International School community, as a way to help me accomplish my goal for this project. The medium that I plan to use to achieve my goal is to conduct a series of interviews with Cedar School students, parents, and faculty members, asking questions about my topic that I believe pertain to that specific interviewee, the questions will be meant to provoke conversations about my topic as to allow me to showcase my research. For example, if I were to ask Mr. Snethen in an interview: Mr Snethen, do you think that rap music has a positive or negative affect on todays youth or society? and Mr. Snethen answered: I believe that it has a negative influence on todays youth because it allocates violence, drugs, and foul language. I could then go on to explain to Mr. Snethen, and in turn the

Stephan Rhoden

audience, why rap music is a positive and necessary element of society, or explain to him that because of rap musics diversity, even though some of the music may appear to abide by his stereotypes of the genre, there are so many artists and groups that dont. The AOI that is directly connected to my goal is Human Ingenuity. Human Ingenuity connects to my goal and topic because the AOI focuses on why and how we create, as well as what are the consequences of those creations. Human ingenuity is also a way to look at a lot of the different fields of human activity, those fields include but are not limited to culture and art. Rap music coincides directly with human ingenuity because it is a form of expression created by people to exhibit culture and thought. My goal coincides directly with human ingenuity because I am attempting to create a way to showcase and explain hip-hop music in its entirety and by doing so, expanding the knowledge of members in our community about this topic. The reason that I chose this topic is because rap music is one of my interests. I have been a huge fan of the genre since I was little, I was exposed to rap early because my dad used to listen to a lot of rap music. I would see these C.Ds lying around the house, since I had my own computer I would load the C.Ds onto iTunes and spend any time that I could listening to these guys shouting and talking fast to a rhythm, it reminded me of dancehall music, which held all of the weight in my music library up until that point. Being born in the late nineties caused me to grow up just after raps Golden era. Most of the rap music that was popular when I was small didnt really fill the shoes of the rap that came before it in the nineties. Luckily for me, there were plenty of Tupac Shakur albums lying around my house, so I got to live the best of both worlds. Now I believe that rap music is going through a renaissance period, with all of the great artists out now, the problem is not everybody knows it, that is my inspiration. My product will be important to the outside world because by teaching people in the Cedar school community more about rap music, they will hopefully become more interested in it and spread some of the information and knowledge that I give to them to other people that they know, and that will cause a ripple affect. I know that I will definitely stay motivated to work in the coming months because of how strongly I feel that it is necessary for my goal to be accomplished. I feel especially strong about this because I feel that rap music is one of the most deservingly popular genres of music right now, but that a lot of mainstream rap music is just not as good as

Stephan Rhoden

it would be if more of the great new and old artists started to get the credit and recognition that they really deserve. The resources that I will use for my research mostly consist of books, documentaries, and interviews, I do plan on using some websites. Some of the specific resources that I will be using include: The Tao of the Wu by the RZA, The Art of Rap, The I am Other interview series, and websites such as Hypetrak and Hypebeast. To asses my project I have chosen a few specifications to follow: I must advertise different artists. I must have at least six different interview subjects. I must have interview subjects who dont all feel the same way about the topic. I must ask questions that provoke discussions about each topic. I must present the interviews in a way that they are both entertaining and serious.