A University in Toronto introduces courses on Drake and The Weeknd

‘It’s overdue for [Drake and The Weeknd] to be canonised academically,’ says professor

Peony Hirwani
Friday 24 September 2021 08:35

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A University in Toronto has introduced courses that delve into the lives and work of rappers Drake and The Weeknd.

Taught by Ryerson University’s music professor in residence, Dalton Higgins, the course titled “Deconstructing Drake & The Weeknd” will study both artists’ respective careers and lyrics.

Students will be able to opt in for the course in early 2022.

Describing why he chose to introduce this course, Higgins told Now Toronto: “On the US college and university scene there are all kinds of courses being taught about rock, folk, pop artists like Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Bruce Springsteen – so why shouldn’t there be a course about Drake and the Weeknd right here in Toronto?”

He added: “On American college campuses, there are easily more than 300 hip-hop courses being taught about artists like Jay Z, Outkast, Beyoncé – there are a lot of Beyoncé courses.”

The scholar also pointed out that many Ivy League universities including Harvard and Cornell “have fully embraced hip-hop education, so we can do the same here”.

Drake and The Weeknd are known as two of Canada’s most influential music artists, and Higgins believes that “it’s overdue for them to be canonised academically”.

“When you have two Black artists born and bred in Toronto who perform rap, R&B, and pop, and who are arguably well on their way to becoming billionaires at some point in time, there is apparently a lot to learn,” he said.

“Remember, they both blew up despite being products of a local Canadian music scene that does very little to foster the growth of its Black music practitioners.”

The professor wrote a book about Drake in 2012 titled Far From Over.

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