This morning I taught a class on rap and religion.  This is a topic within religious studies where I am almost entirely ignorant.  I don’t listen to very much rap/hip hop and my research interests don’t usually involve the intersection of pop culture and religion.

So, here’s how it went: I managed to mix up Ice Cube and Ice-T and admitted I had no idea what the difference was between rap and hip hop.  Overall though, it was a good discussion and the students seemed interested, even though they clearly knew more about this topic than me.  I told them to write songs up on the board and we would play a few and then discuss the religious/social aspects of each song/video.  That worked out pretty well because they got to hear songs they suggested and wanted to hear.  The students are more of the experts on this subject than I am so I was happy to let them direct part of the direction of the class.

At the end of class I told them some people think Jay-Z is a member of the Illuminati and a number of students nodded their heads indicating they had heard this before.  Then, after class, a student approached me and asked me about lizard people.  I guess my “Jay-Z is a member of the Illuminati” comment was perceived as an open door to ask me about weird stuff.  I was actaully able to talk to him about lizard people a little because that is the sort of stuff my officemates talk about and I can’t help but pick up on some of it.