Skip to main contentSkip to footer

MUSIC-109 - History of Hip Hop Music/Culture - Jon Amador

Course:History of Hip Hop Music/Culture
Professor:Jon Amador
  • Online
Course Length:
  • Applies to All Course Lengths


As an artist and educator, I've been involved in the creative process for nearly 35 years. Classically trained, industry seasoned, and always having one hand stirring the pot of creativity and the latest in music, I love the cutting edge of both technology, and those who follow and cultivate music of all genres.

I have also been a huge fan and listener of hip-hop since the early 1980s, and have wonderful first-hand experiences to share with you about the love of the music, culture, styling, philosophies, struggles, and triumphs of this wonderful art form.

This course will present a rich and diverse history of the genre and media of hip hop, from music recordings, to video archives, and visual art represented in culture, fashion, graffiti, and the urban "scene" throughout the ages. Be prepared to watch, read, and experience what I hope will be an enriched study of the craft and medium.

Course Description

Class Description: Traces the evolution of Hip Hop from its African roots through the diaspora to its modern product of African American struggle. It is analyzed both as a cultural form of expression through music, dance, spoken word, lyrics, poetry, artists, philosophy, lifestyles, and through its social, economic, and political perspectives and issues.

Student Learning Outcomes: By the end of this course, students will be able to analyze and evaluate a hip-hop song in relation to the artist, the social and political environment, the culture, and its effects in the community.



Module 1:

                        Chapter 1 – What is Hip Hop? What is Rap?

                        Chapter 2 – Hip Hop’s Ground Zero 

Module 2:

                        Chapter 3 – Graffiti Art and Breaking

                        Chapter 4 – Rap’s African and African American Cultural Roots

Module 3:

                        Chapter 5 – Old-School DJs and MCs

                        Chapter 6 – The Golden Era

Module 4:

                        Chapter 7 – Hardcore

                        Chapter 8 – Hardcore II

                        Written Assignment – Commercialism and Identity during the rise of Hip Hop

                        MIDTERM EXAM

Module 5:

                        Chapter 9 – Hip Hop Culture and Rap Music in the Second Millennium

Module 6:

                        Chapter 10 New Terrain, Political Turmoil, Defiance, and Cultural Movements in the 2010s

                        Written Assignment  - “A letter for the ages…”: Reflecting ‘back’ on your impressions of the Millennial/Gen-Z era of Hip Hop…       

Module 7:

                        Chapter 11 (Special topics in Global Perspectives of HH Music and Culture)

                        Chapter 12 Conclusion

                        FINAL EXAM

What to Expect in this Course

Note: in accelerated schedules (12, 8 and 5 week offerings), the coursework is compressed but not diluted; expect to read the same content and cover the same media studies of a full 17-week semester. By the end of the course, expect between 115-130 hours of combined reading, viewing/listening, and participation in the Course. 


In order to be counted as “present” and attending the course, the college requires that you attend the first day of instruction, and begin to complete coursework at that time. IMPORTANT: If you do not login and complete the first assignments by the end of the first week of the session, you will be dropped from the course (aka “No Show” Drop). FOR THIS COURSE, You need to login, and complete the instructions and tasks located in the Mandatory Orientation Module, no later than 72 hours from the start date of the course.

The coursework consists mainly of reading from the course text, viewing and listening to recordings and musical performances, and writing and responding to prompts given by the instructor related to topics in the course outline. Although we will not have live video/synchronous communication, I will offer a few opportunities to share in the viewing and critiquing of media in scheduled informal "office hours" style supplemental meetings (these will be optional and attendance will not be required for passing the course).

There are no term projects, but there will be 2-4 short writing assignments, requiring outside research of specific musical artists and styles, and sharing your knowledge and research with the class via class-wide discussions. 

Types of Assessments

Short, non-proctored quizzes for the reading and viewing materials; online discussion board assignments to cooperatively research and discuss key topics of the course; and an objective midterm and final exam, with short-answer questions (paragraph-length).

Textbook Information

Orejuelas, Fernando. Rap and Hip Hop Culture, second edition. Oxford University

Press, 2022. ISBN (paperback): 9780190852283, ISBN (ePub): 9780190852337

Library of Congress Identifiers: LCCN 2020052481 (print), LCCN 2020052482 (ebook)


You can do so through the Barnes & Noble bookstore at College of the Canyons at a cost of about $49.95 (used/rental of eText), OR direct from the publisher here ($49.00)

Other Relevant Course Information

All course materials for this course are delivered online; your computer and Internet connection should be outfitted for basic online communication to include:

  • A Mac OS, PC/Windows OS (Windows XP or higher), or Linux OS-based computer;
  • An Internet connection (broadband speed recommended for video and chat features);
  • A current web browser (Google Chrome recommended, however, Firefox, Safari, IE 9, should work as well);
  • QuickTime player software for viewing video materials (free player, available through Apple’s website at:
  • Adobe Reader software installed, (this is pdf file viewer to read online articles, available for free from Adobe at:
  • There will additional software used for scheduled online meetings (these are synchronous ‘real-time’ meetings held online, on dates listed below); the CCC Confer web conferencing software will be used for real-time communication via web conferences (see below).
  • CCC Confer can be accessed here (software/system is free of charge):
  • Workload for online classes: Because we don’t meet on-campus, there are additional assignments and activities that require online research. On average, students will spend between 90-130 hours of study for this course over the full-length semester. If at any point in the session you have difficulty keeping up with course content/assignments, please do not hesitate to contact me; I will also make an effort to check in regularly with you via
  • Circumstances may arise which require modifications of the above guidelines and the following schedule of assignments for the course, as deemed necessary by The instructor reserves the right to make necessary changes, in compliance with COC academic policies.


  • Log-in to canvas at on the first day of the course.
  • For any Canvas related issues please call Canvas Student Support:
    (661) 362-3344 during college business hours or (877) 889-9052 for 24/7 support.
  • For technical support using Canvas, visit the Canvas tech Support page for students.


  • You will need regular access to a reliable computer with stable, high-speed internet connection.
  • Microsoft Word. You can download the Microsoft Office Suite for FREE as part of your school My Canyons account (
  • A Canvas smartphone app is available to download! (Canvas by Instructure)


  • The Learning Center (TLC) provides FREE face-to-face and ONLINE tutoring, proctoring for courses that have required proctored exams, Study Jam review sessions, computers with over 300 software programs, and more! Go to:
  • Academic Accommodation Center (AAC) provide educational services and access for eligible students with documented Find information about this program and how to access these services at:
  • Online Counseling can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration. Visit the Online Counseling website to learn
  • Quest for Success is an online learning experience that can help you master the skills you need to be effective in an online or hybrid course.


Additional Resources


This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:

  • CanyonsID Username is your COC student email address (Ex:
  • CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password

Please visit the Get to Know Your Online Classroom page for help logging into Canvas and for tips on using Canvas and Zoom. Canvas Chat Support is also available 24/7 for any Canvas related issues.

Online Education

Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.

The Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC provides FREE online tutoring resources to COC students!

Academic Accommodation Center (AAC)

College of the Canyons AAC provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC. A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Academic Accomodation Center website.

Online Counseling

The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.

Management of Stress and Mental Health

Often the pressure on our students is very strong, involving academic commitments, relationships, outside jobs and family pressure to name a few. The staff and faculty of College of the Canyons are here to see you succeed academically and care about your emotional and physical health. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including counseling and mental health services available on campus by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center in the Student Services Building (across from the bookstore). The phone number is 661-362-3259 that you can call 24/7. You can also e mail for an appointment at At the Canyon Country Campus the Health Center will be in the new Student Services Building.

Also, the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number is now 988. All students at COC are encouraged to enter that phone number in their cells. You can call it when you, or someone you know, is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress.

You can also now use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. Someone will get back to you immediately. Its free, 24/7, and confidential.

Veterans Resource Center

The College of the Canyons Veterans Resource Center is a department within the Student Services Division at the college, created to help veterans and veteran dependents with applying to College of the Canyons, enrolling in classes, and requesting VA Education or Vocational Benefits. For more information please visit the Veterans Resource Center website, email or phone (661) 362-3469.


The Library provides live online and in-person research help, access to a full range of e-resources and physical materials that support the curriculum, individual and group study areas, and much more!

Last updated: 04/08/2024 Sub#: 1737