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Hip Hop Geography Lesson (U.S.)

Posted Mar 30 2006

An exercise I used to show the global influence of hip hop and as a way to engage students about historical and cultural facts. The students worked in groups and really enjoyed this activity. The students who knew a lot about hip hop could contribute if their academic skills were weaker and the students who weren't big hip hop fans could contribute if they were stronger in the academic areas. Fortunately, all of my students fell in either or both of these categories. After identifying the location, they needed to identify it on a map. Numerous discussion arose from information that was listed in this activity. Please note that these questions should be updated from time to time to keep the info relevant as new artists come out everyday. For example, I changed number 4 to Kanye West from Da Brat as he's much more popular at the moment. See the key on page 2.

Outkast1. The Roots call their hometown Illadelph, which is also home to the Libery Bell.

2. Andre and Big Boi of Outkast calls themselves ATLians in honor of their hometown, which is also home to Ludacris, Lil’ John, and Michael Vick. This city is located in the “Peach State.” What is this city and state?

3. The Lady of Rage, Skillz, Missy Elliot, the Neptunes, and Timbaland are from which state? Hint: this state has a sister state that starts with “West”.

4. Kanye West is from the “Windy City,” which is named so because of the winds from the Great Lakes and because of all the politicians who blow “hot air.” What is the name of this midwest city?

8 Mile 5. The term “Bout it” was popular in the mid/late ninties and originated in a city also know as the “Big Easy.” What is this city?

6. The movie 8-Mile is based in the Motor City aka Motown. What is this city?

7. The rapper Paris called himself the “Black Panther of Rap.” Among other things, the Black Panther Party was formed to help African-Americans gain equal access to jobs, education, health care, and political power. In which city was the Black Panther Party formed?

8. The Source magazine was co-founded by David Mays, a student at Harvard University, and Benzino, a local from the neighborhood. In what city do you think they met; a city whose history includes this country’s most famous tea party.

9. KRS-One is from the Boogie Down _____ which is the home of hip hop and had a particularly rough reputation, as shown in movies such as Fort Apache: The _____.

Eve 10. Suge Knight, the CEO of Death Row Records, went to college in the same city that Tupac was killed. This city is known for its casinos and is named what?

11. Project Pat shares the same hometown as Elvis’ Graceland. This city is what?

12. R.B.L. Posse is from the Hunter’s Point section of this city, which is also famous for its cable cars and has an athletic team named after people who participated in the Gold Rush.

13. Before losing his voice in a car accident, the D.O.C. was a prolific MC, although he has continued his career as a writer, working with artists such as N.W.A. and Dr. Dre. His home state is the same President Bush and the Cowboys.

14. Run D.M.C. was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which is also home to Bone Thugs n’ Harmony.

15. M.C. Hammer was from Oakland but his studio and record company is based from which city that also happens to be the most southern BART stop in the east bay?

16. This important shipping port near Los Angeles is home to Snoop Dogg and Tha Dogg Pound.

17. In the early ‘80s Ice T used to rap with a Chicano MC named Kid Frost, who had moderate success with a song called “This is For La Raza.” Frost is from this city whose history includes the “Zoot Suit Riots.” These riots took place during World War Two when Caucasian servicemen attacked Mexican-American youth who they thought were unpatriotic.

18. Mystic was nominated for a Grammy a couple of years ago and calls this city, which is the third largest in the Bay area, home.

19. David Banner comes from a state known for its continued use of the Confederate flag in their state flag, as well as sharing the same name as the largest river in the United States.

20. Both Nelly and Chingy are from St. Louis, which is located in the “Show Me State.” What is this state and what is its capital?

21. Groups such as Salt ‘n’ Pepa and Kid ‘N’ Play scored hits that were heavily influenced by go go music. Go go’s home town is also the only city in the country that is not part of a state, is home to the Lincoln Memorial, and is the site of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

22. Trina, Trick Daddy, and Luke are from this beach-front city known for its large Cuban population and the setting for the movie Scarface. It is also the site for one of the CSI tv series.

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