This course will critically examine issues of race, representation and the sexual politics of hip- hop culture. We will trace the historical implications of race and gender in U. S. culture from slavery onwards and connect how past images of African Americans continue to influence contemporary notions of Black identity. We will trace the early historical moments of the hip- hop movement in order to understand how the culture became synonymous with male dominated spaces and silent women. This course will also explore the role of misogyny, sexual exploitation, and hypermasculinity in current rap music and contrast this with the rise of independent artists challenging and reshaping hip-hop music today. Ultimately, we will look at the role of the internet and alternative forms of media as a means of how hip-hop has moved from the board room to the global stage, giving the power back to the people.