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Jay-Z: Essays on Hip Hop's Philosopher King Paperback – February 28, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Julius Bailey is a visiting professor of philosophy at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio and lead professor of philosophy and religion at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. He has written about music for numerous publications, including Vibe Magazine and The Source Hip Hop Magazine.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 223 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland (February 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786463295
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786463299
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,291,637 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Julius Bailey, PhD, a Christian Existentialist, teaches in the Department of Philosophy at Wittenberg University. He is a philosopher, cultural critic, social theorist, and diversity lecturer. As a socially conscious academic, Dr. Bailey has been interviewed on CNN, Fox, B.E.T, and ABC Nightline. A guest on numerous radio shows as a social critic and education advisor, he is often sought to speak at colleges, prisons, and community organizations across America. Recent publications include: The Cultural Impact of Kanye West (ed. Palgrave-McMillan, March 2014), Philosophy and Hip-hop: Ruminations on Hip-Hop as Postmodern Cultural Form (Palgrave,-McMillan, July 2014) and Jay-Z: Essays on Hip Hop's Philosopher King (McFarland, 2011). He has also authored a host of articles on Hip-Hop Pedagogy and Social Justice issues. He holds Masters Degrees from Howard and Harvard Universities and a Doctorate from the University of Illinois. His research interests span from Russian Literature to Hip-Hop Culture-- indeed, anything that touches on the doings and sufferings of people purposed toward voice and inclusion. In addition to being the former Education Spokesperson for the Rainbow Push Coalition, Dr. Bailey is the founder of Project Eight (a youth service organization that focuses on leadership and civic participation) and has won numerous awards for his community commitment and engagement. More information can be found at

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dr. M.L.P on April 23, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first heard about this book on facebook (friend of a friend). Immediately wary about the author,Julius Bailey, attempting to offer some sort of first hand account of Jay-Z stories to somehow rival Decoded. Such a project I was totally uninterested in supporting. But I went to the website ([...]) which led me to the author's website [...]) and was pleasantly surprised to see a project that was far removed from commonplace.

As a professor in Community College, we are always challenged to motivate students toward learning so that they can possibly seek a 4 year degree upon completion of this 2 year associate's. Within 5 minutes of reading the introduction to my Literature class last week, I was floored to see how many students had questions. "Dr. Parker you like Jay-Z too", "Dr. Parker, does Jay-Z respond to Dr. Bailey in this book", "Dr. Parker, I think Jay-Z is better than the rappers my age"...Honestly, it had been 2 months since I had that level of enthusiasm in my classroom. Immediately I ordered 2 additional copies and I have the book being ciruculated around the classroom and the college.

Great Read, but a better resource for classroom interaction and critical discussions!! I will be ordering this for by College Writing class in the Fall.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Dre on April 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
Welcome to this phenomenal book of essays purposed to create and sustain: lively discussion, historical memory, theoretical frame-working, and an overall appreciation for cultural studies. The book is formatted in a manner consistent with excellent pedagogical practices. Julius Bailey's bio recognizes him as an award-winning teacher and this volume utilizes the best of teaching practices from assessment to classroom culture building, as a teacher/professor, I find this book extremely helpful. Each chapter ends with review questions, ideas for discussion, and resources for further review. This book is perfect for teachers of English Literature, History, African American Studies, Philosophy, Economic Theory and Communications and Sociology.

For the non-teacher but lover of ideas this book will situate you in the world of the popular culture icon, Jay-Z. Not only will you take a glimpse into the public personae of this hip hop giant, but you will pierce the minds of scholars, teachers, activists, and artists who are engaging in discussions of Jay-Z's impact to our world. You will learn about Jay-Z as a philanthropist, an activist, an artist, and a man while hopefully, appreciating his impact and investigating his complexity.

The Hip Hop studies aficionado will find some established names in the discipline (Toni Blackman, Davey D, Bakari Kitwana) while also being introduced to other academicians and authors who are organically linked to the tradition and who use hip hop as a mode of scholarship and a way of investigating the world. Additionally, you will be surprisingly grasped by its attention to situation Hip Hop within the traditional classroom structure.
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Format: Paperback
Inhabiting a world where anything and everything can become a commodity and therefore, in many a person's opinion, become corrupted, educational paradigms and educators themselves are unnaturally forced to look in unfamiliar arenas in an attempt to connect to the youth that desperately seeks understanding and escapism in any form other than formal education. As the bottomless knowledge pool grows deeper and deeper with each generation, nuanced research and analytic power is lost in each students craving to know more and more without focused study. The fact of the matter is that with all the unfiltered information at student's fingertips at any given time, the structure of formal education is breaking down; a student taught to behave politely and in proper fashion can Google the anarchist cookbook, a student instructed on long division can perform the operation with little effort on a touch screen music player -- students are teaching themselves more and more without the necessary guidance in order to understand what it is they are absorbing, much less how to effectively use it.
Recognizing this absurd world, Dr. Julius Bailey, a profound philosopher with long stretching wisdom on hip hop and youth culture, aims to connect to students through their lived experiences and engage them by, "giving credence to what they are exposed to [in their daily lives]". Bailey claims that students today adopt the views of the mainstream version of today's philosopher -- hip hop artists -- in part due to the powerful influence of language and the frequency with which music is played.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bree on May 11, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a large component to the music industry, hip hop serves as "the most lucrative cultural force among young people in the world" (West, 1). Hip hop music serves as a relatable source of artistic expression, commonly demonstrating relevant social values through lyrics. In Essays on Hip Hop's Philosopher King, Jay-Z, edited by Julius Bailey, a collection of various intellectuals reflect on the social, economic and political influence hip-hop has had on America. By considering Jay-Z as an icon, the complex dynamics between race, in music, class and gender all demonstrate the social responsibility one has to be held accountable for current problems. Arguably one of the most talented artists, Jay-Z is considered to be a Philosopher King as his fourteen year music career enabled Jay-Z to become wealthy, respected and influential. The essays which are broken into three parts; The Groundwork, The Challenges and The Classroom Freestyles, each discuss a vital component in the relationship Jay-Z and hip-hop has with current society. These essays are vital to any reader with an interest in Music, Politics, Sociology, Philosophy, English, Women's Studies, or Education. The complexity of upholding the responsibility of an intellectual is displayed through one of the world's most successful, authentic hip hop artists, Jay-Z.
Historically, hip hop buffs witnessed an explosion of conscious rap in the 1980's through the 90's. This time period known as "The Golden Age" represented the influence hip hop had on society and political activism. This form of rap served as an art form where African Americans were able to discuss social problems such as project life, violence, and living in poverty. However, over time the dominate form of hip hop in the music industry began to change.
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