Lupe Fiasco is teaching at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the rapper just delivered the introductory lecture of his Rap Theory & Practice course, which is now available to watch online. The Drill Music in Zion artist has also announced that there are places on the course for next semester and that registration is now open.
The course is described as “an exploration into the underlying fundamental functions, structures, and principles of rap,” and the first class of the course saw Fiasco diving deep into the theory of the “shapes and details” of writing rhymes and lyrics, and the power of “surprises,” among other parts of the genre.
Fiasco was given the honour of being an MLK Visiting Professor back in May of this year, and now the rapper is breaking down lyrics in Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst’ and Eminem’s ‘Stan’, as well as his own track ‘Jonylah Forever’, taken from his 2018 album DROGAS Wave.
When Fiasco announced the news in May, he wrote online, “I been holding this for a while. I’ll put together something more sophisticated later that really captures the nuance and gravity but for now I’ll just say it straight and raw: I’m going to teach Rap at MIT.”
He added, “Syllabus isn’t built yet but I’m thinking its fruit to be had in looking at neuromorphic computation through the lens of Rap as a lossless data compression model with a dash of energy efficiency via refining Landauer’s principle applied to cytoarchitectonics. And some rapping…”
Jermaine Dupri was one of the people who praised Fiasco when he announced his professorship. He said, “If it’s in your body, if it’s your system you know cause the kids actually listen to us. They listen to us more than they listen to teachers so if it’s in you to do it then you should definitely do it.”