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Kanye May Not Like Books, But Hip-hop Foster's A Love Of Literature

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Influential literary works written by authors from around the world, and throughout the ages.

SEATTLE - s4story -- By:  A.D. Carson, University of Virginia

When Ye – the artist formerly known as Kanye West – stated during a recent podcast that he doesn't read books, some people questioned whether he was sending the wrong message to children.

Those questions took on more importance in light of the fact that Ye recently launched Donda Academy, a private educational venture named after his late mother, Donda West, who was herself an English professor.

As a rap artist, author and academic, I would never argue that reading lots of books is the only path to gaining knowledge or showing intelligence.

After all, I created the first-ever peer-reviewed hip-hop album published by a university press. For my doctoral dissertation in 2017, I made a rap album and resisted any calls to submit a formally written explanation of the work.

For instance, in 1996, Tupac Shakur released his 1996 album "The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory" under the alias Makaveli – a variation of the name of author Niccolò Machiavelli. Machiavelli's 16th-century works "The Prince" and "Discourses on Livy" could offer interesting insights into the album and the creative process that Tupac undertook during the final period of his life. For example, Machiavelli famously details his observations on obtaining and keeping political power in "The Prince." Similarly, Tupac ends his album by talking about his own ascendancy of sorts, shouting out "soldiers with military minds" and detailing foretold rules of war.

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https://theconversation.com/kanye-may-not-like-books-but-hip-hop-fosters-a-love-of-literature-191160

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