Kendrick Lamar aka K.Dot is in the news again for releasing his much-awaited studio album “Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers” on Friday. His first individual album, since DAMN in 2017, has hip hop and music fans alike raging over it.
While Kendrick is bound to make the headlines for days considering his stature in the rap community, we take a look at the time when his second studio album ‘good kid, m.A.A.d city’, which was released in 2012, became such a hit that even a college professor used it in his class.
Adam Diehl, of Georgia Regents University, had opted to use Kendrick's album as a source of inspiration for his class. Diehl had told XXL magazine in 2014 that his English class revolves around making his students “become a better writer, a better reader, a better analyzer, a better person, and a better appreciator of the language of the street: hip-hop.”
“I was given the opportunity to create my own theme for the class,” Diehl had stated. "I decided to centre the class on good kid, m.A.A.d city because I think Kendrick Lamar is the James Joyce of hip-hop--i.e. in the complexity of his storytelling, in his knowledge of the canon, and in his continuing focus on the city of his upbringing—Compton,” he continued.
The class, which was started as a part of the fall term at Georgia Regents University, aimed to produce much discussion about the issues that artists like Lamar raise, and hoped that the content will inspire students.
"The course is a freshman composition course, so I am teaching these works (i.e. [James Joyce's] A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Gwendolyn Brooks' Selected Poems, James Baldwin's Going to Meet the Man, Boyz N The Hood, and good kid, m.A.A.d city) in the context of writing a research paper about one of the issues involved in the texts (e.g. gang warfare, police brutality, racism, incarceration rates, human trafficking, etc.),” Diehl told XXL in a 2014 interview.