"i used to love to dream" is a mixtap/e/ssay that performs hip-hop scholarship using sampled and live instrumentation; repurposed music, film, and news clips; and original rap lyrics. As a genre, the mixtap/e/ssay brings together the mixtape—a self-produced or independently released album issued free of charge to gain publicity—and the personal and scholarly essays. "i used to love to dream" names Decatur, Illinois—the author's hometown—as a reference point for place- and time-specific rapped ruminations about the ideas of growing up, moving away, and pondering one's life choices. At the same time, the tracks attempt to account for moral, philosophical, and ethical dimensions undergirding unease about authenticity, or staying true to oneself and to one's city or neighborhood, as well as the external factors that contribute to such feelings. Using the local to ask questions about the global, "i used to love to dream" highlights outlooks on Black life generally, and Black manhood in particular, in the United States.
Volume 11 of the Race & in America series, an enhanced exploration of the origins, history, and legacies of anti-Black racism in the U.S., designed to deepen knowledge and awareness in the service of promoting a more just and inclusive community and world.
The Rap Scholars is a podcast exploring contemporary rap music and culture through curated dialogue. Representing a new generation of rap criticism, hosts Nasir Marumo and Temar France use podcast as pedagogy. www.therapscholars.com.
Sounding Out! is a bi-weekly online publication, a networked academic archive, and a dynamic group platform bringing together sound studies scholars, sound artists and professionals, and readers interested in the cultural politics of sound and listening. Every Monday, our writers offer well-researched, well-written, and accessible interventions in sound studies, directing the field’s energy toward the social, cultural, and political aspects of sound and listening, particularly their differential construction of and material impacts on variously positioned bodies.
The Sounding Spirit Collaborative engages sacred music from a dynamic era of American history. We make accessible and interpret historical sacred vernacular songbooks printed across territories and states spanning the southern United States from 1850 to 1925. Our ongoing scholarly edition and digital library work leverages collaborations between scholars, practitioners, librarians, and technologists to bring interdisciplinary, multi-modal expertise to the study and dissemination of these music books. These collaborations invite both scholarly and confessional reconsiderations of the role of sacred song in the lived experience of diverse communities. Working with texts and tunes often marginalized in music history, singers and scholars join Sounding Spirit in claiming a more diverse canon of southern vernacular sacred music.