Hip-hop polymath Bun B is bringing his university teaching to the masses.

The UGK rapper is working with Professor Anthony Pinn and Houston’s prestigious Rice University to adapt their class on religion and hip-hop into a free online course.

“Our classroom course at Rice went so well that people off campus were contacting us and asking us about the course and how they could take it,” said Pinn. “Working with Bun in the classroom, it became clear that there were ways of learning and teaching that we hadn’t tapped.

“The MOOC [massive open online course] gave us a way to be even more creative and innovative in terms of how we link the rest of world with the cultural richness and diversity of Houston to get information across.”

The six-week course “explores hip-hop culture’s religious dimensions through its musical language – rap music”, with a look at the role of religion in rap and the religious sensibilities of various rappers. The course uses videos, readings, music, images, stories and “behind-the-scenes insider perspective”, which must come from Bun B himself.

“This course gave me the opportunity to let people see a side of hip-hop that isn’t always discussed,” the rapper said. “We’ve started a conversation that cannot end until people have a better understanding of who we are and what we do.”

The Religion and Hip-Hop Culture course begins on March 24 – sign up online and watch the introductory video below.

It’s yet another string to the bow of the veteran rapper, who’s been spotted in a toothpaste ad and his very own colouring book in recent years. [via All Hip-Hop]

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