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Read, Write, Rhyme Institute:
Educators, Entertainers and Entrepreneurs Engaging in Hip-Hop Discourse


LaVoulle’s newest book, “Read, Write, Rhyme Institute: Educators, Entertainers, and Entrepreneurs Engaging in Hip-Hop Discourse” addresses the issue of hip-hop culture’s encroachment upon the school environment and the ways that hip-hop can be used for social justice. This book gives you access to conversations with various affluential members of society including both rappers & social activist, TI and Killer Mike; entrepreneurs Jason Geter of Grand Hustle Entertainment, Nekeesa Smith of NeKeesa’s Natural Hair Loft, and Rondul Louder; educators, Thomas Gordon and Yusef King. These conversations offer deep analysis of the public-school system as an institution that does not meet the needs of Black and Brown students. Insights provided highlight the possibility of hip-hop Discourse between these individuals who perform hip-hop and scholars, who study and write about hip-hop, as spaces ripe for exploration and critical literacy. Setting the stage for social conversations such as the effect of the decline of blue collar jobs in the Black community, increase in illegal activity among inner-city youth, emergence of hip-hop culture, federal policies that maintain poverty; and the rise of the White Tee Economy. A recommended read for scholars of English, linguistics, cultural studies, religious studies, politics, globalization, race, economics, African American studies and music history. The book offers teachers and educational advocates an alternative lens for viewing hip-hop culture within a political, economic and educational context.

Early Praise!

Crystal LaVoulle has produced an incredibly thoughtful, sophisticated, and well-crafted exploration of the intersection of hip-hop, education, and cultural studies. The scope and depth of this study will impress scholars of hip-hop, as well as aficionados of the art. It is a welcome addition to a robust body of hip-hop scholarship.

- Jeffrey O. G. Ogbar, Author of  Hip-Hop Revolution: The Culture and Politics of Rap and Black Power: Radical Politics and African American Identity.

Some of the most productive intellectual spaces are carved when two or more seeming disparate intellectual fields intersect. What happens when d(D)iscourse analysis, pedagogy, digital literacies, critical entrepreneurship, and critical youth studies meet by the grace of Hip-Hop? The answer is Read, Write, Rhyme Institute: Educators, Entertainers, and Entrepreneurs Engage in Hip-Hop Discourse. It is methodologically innovative, scholarly grounded, and poetically hopeful. For those who are interested in language Hip-Hop pedagogy, this is a must read, especially for those invested in that critical intersection of race, class, and public education. Hip-Hop Studies is a growing field and Read, Write, Rhyme Institute is a beautiful addition to it. 

-Awad Ibrahim,  author of  the Rhizome of Blackness: A Critical Ethnography of Hip-Hop Culture, Language, Identity, and the Politics of Becoming.

In Read, Write, Rhyme Institute, diverse members of the hip-hop community share candid and reflective opinions about the public school system and treatment of children of the current hip-hop generation. Crystal LaVoulle offers educators practical suggestions for teaching critical thinking and educating for social justice.


-Eleanor Renee Rodriquez, Author of What is it About Me That You Can’t Teach? An Instructional Guide For the Urban Educator.

Teaching with diversity and cultural competency in mind:
Using Popular Culture Texts to Teach Social Justice


Teaching with diversity and cultural competency in mind implies that teachers recognize that there is injustice in society and that not all students are treated or educated equally in our schools. This book  provides teachers with support in creating opportunities for students’ voices to be heard while examining ways that other youth have used their voices to speak out against social injustices. Using Culturally Responsive Pedagogy as a guide, this book promotes racial, social, economic, and youth justice while challenging standardization in schools.

Book Chapter

Critical Analysis of Hip-Hop Music as Texts 


Critical Analysis of Hip-Hop Music as Texts provides insight on how hip-hop music, created as a resistant, defiant expression of thought, which presents critical views of mainstream opinions can be utilized to teach critical literacy, which analyses the way that language manipulates, persuades, informs, and entertains. Using music from popular culture values students’ life experiences and lends itself to in-depth discussions of socio-political context sometimes hidden within texts. Critical Analysis of Hip-Hop Music as Texts offers critical approaches to using hip-hop “music as a means to draw out data about experiences, memories and feelings” (Allett, 2012, p. 4) as opposed to using the music as the source of data. Challenging you to think more critically about previously held assumptions about hip-hop music, and hip-hop music as texts (LaVoulle, 2015), Critical Analysis of Hip-Hop Music as Texts briefly identifies the music of hip-hop culture, defines hip-hop texts and provides numerous examples of how hip-hop music can be utilized to teach critical literacy.

Taboo: e Journal of Culture and Education

Volume 16 | Issue 2  |  Article 7                                                                   

September 2017

Bad Bitch Barbie Craze and Beyoncé African American Women’s Bodies as Commodities in Hip-Hop Culture, Images, and Media


Crystal LaVoulle

LaVoulle Group, International Education Consultants,


Tisha Lewis Ellison

University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia,



In this special issue of Taboo, the authors address Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” by considering the ways in which hip-hop discourse lays a foundation for generating critical discussions surrounding using the body as a commodity. We utilize Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” to frame the long history of portrayals of African American women’s bodies as money-making instruments and objects of sexual desire, resulting in the Bad Bitch Barbie.  The authors define a Bad Bitch Barbie as a woman who celebrates, and embraces the body while simultaneously using it as a commodity.  Representing a Black body ideal, in “Lemonade”, Beyoncé uses images of Black women’s bodies to express hurt, anger, and despair as Black women struggle to love themselves and each other in a racist and sexist society. This discussion is guided by Hip-Hop feminist theory, which explores the political, cultural, and social spaces that afflict women in hip-hop.  This theory gives voice to years of dominating opposition, sexism, and discourses that attempt to dis-empower women of color attempting to render them powerless in the ways that their own bodies are utilized.  Using an ethnographic case study method of African American hip-hop lovers and activists, the authors collected narrative inquiries, photo-elicited interviews, lyrics, images, and cultural artifacts. The findings indicate that although there are some women in hip-hop who are stuck in spaces where they are misrepresented, and sexually exploited, Beyoncé represents the Bad Bitch Barbie who welcomes the glamorization and embraces the profitability that is associated with the racialized, sexualized, and subjugated worldview of Black women’s bodies.  



hip-hop feminist theory, digital media, African American women, misogyny  

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