Dying of Thirst: Kendrick Lamar and the Call for a “New School” Hip-Hop Pedagogy

  • Adam D. Henze
  • Ted Hall


This chapter examines how a New Literacies approach to hip-hop pedagogy gives students increased opportunities to foster dialogue related to race and power. Using Critical Race Theory to examine the music, art, and media related to two of rapper Kendrick Lamar’s albums, good kid, m.A.A.D. city and To Pimp a Butterfly, the authors provide for educators and academics a critical, multimodal text set that serves as an alternative to traditional literary canons that privilege white authors whose work exists solely in the print medium. Themes in Lamar’s work task the listener to consider the ways white supremacy and consumerism impact black artistry and community, which suggests potential for fostering critical classroom conversations related to ways that capitalism impacts representation of cultures in art.


Hip-hop pedagogy Kendrick Lamar Critical race theory New literacy studies Multiliteracies Youth culture Literacy instruction 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adam D. Henze
    • 1
  • Ted Hall
    • 2
  1. 1.The Indiana Institute on Disability and CommunityIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  2. 2.Literacy, Culture, and Language Education DepartmentIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

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