Well, we got through one question. The question asks about McBride’s primary purpose, and goes on to ask if they thought it was a personal essay or a cultural study. The question of purpose has been a challenging one for students to grapple with, because there is often more than one response (thus, multiple central ideas!) that seems plausible. The group that worked with this question came to the conclusion that it is more of a cultural study, but it has lots of personal essay elements in it, and that it seems like he is trying to show how hip-hop music is more than just about gangs and profanity. In trying to move students from the kind of bumper sticker central ideas I asked the students what is he trying to say about rap music, and how does he get there. As students referred to some of the historical context that McBride provided, I found myself providing more context—their prior knowledge regarding the history of hip-hop is very limited, as is their knowledge urban America in the 1970s and 80s. I guess this shouldn’t be a surprise—these students were all born in the late 90s—but because hip-hop is so part of our culture now, I assumed they had some knowledge of its past. So as we looked at the succession of historical information he provides, both regarding hip-hop’s beginnings and its place in broader cultural events, I had to provide some context. Given this, before continuing with the discussion tomorrow, we will watch part of a documentary I found on the history of hip-hop that goes into more detail about what they read. Hopefully this visual context will help as we interpret the rest of the piece.