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Hip-hop Professor Who Rapped His Dissertation Has Now Released First Ever Peer-reviewed Album

By: Buzz Staff


Last Updated: April 09, 2021, 19:29 IST

Picture Credit: @aydeethegreat/Twitter

Picture Credit: @aydeethegreat/Twitter

AD Carson, now a professor of hip-hop with University of Virginia has previously presented his PhD in the form of a 34-track rap album, with topics including justice, economics, language, identity.

For rap artist and a professor of hip-hop AD Carson, using music as a serious platform is not something new. A former doctoral student of Clemson University in South Carolina, Carson has previously smashed stereotypes for presenting his dissertation in the form of a 34-track rap album titled “Owning My Masters: The Rhetorics of Rhymes and Revolutions." His research included topics such as justice, economics, language, identity, history and citizenship and took Carson three years to produce it, Carson wrote for The Conversation. He has now recently also published the first ever peer-reviewed hip-hop mixtap/essay through the University of Michigan Press, titled i used to love to dream .

An assistant professor of Hip-Hop with the University of Virginia now, Carson took the help of two of his childhood friends from Illinois, Blake E Wallace and Marcus Fitzgerald for his album and his project helped him connect to thousands of people, who connected with his music. Carson went viral soon after that and his songs garnered thousands of views on YouTube and on other platforms.

Carson’s dissertation was the first of its kind as part of the university’s rhetorics, communication, and information design program. Chenjerai Kumanyika, one of Carson’s professors and supervisor who is also a former Hip-Hop musician helped him with the process by helping him with the academic research for the dissertation, Clemson News said.


Carson had said in 2017, “The central thesis of my dissertation is: Are certain voices treated differently? I’m trying to examine how an authentically identifiable black voice might be used or accepted as authentic or ignored or could answer academic questions and be considered rightly academic. So, I have to present a voice rather than writing about a voice."

Essentially, Carson did double work for his dissertation. He wrote his songs beforehand and then converted the 200-page songs into the album and he believed this was the way he could roll all the things that he liked such as writing, speaking, academic engagements, being politically aware together in one bracket and making it a natural process.

Both of Carson’s senior and master’s theses were on music and as such he believed his dissertation to be an extension of them. Putting together a small music studio in his apartment near the Clemson campus, Carson used the basic Adobe recording software provided by the college to finish his album.

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first published:April 09, 2021, 19:28 IST
last updated:April 09, 2021, 19:29 IST