Jones is quoted in the article as saying:
"I don’t think they [students] see anyone who’s a professor as having authority on hip-hop and rap."
Is that true? Does being a professor, or being academically inclined somehow detract from one's credibility or knowledge of "hip-hop and rap?" It seems to me this could not possibly be the case. Does one lose their street cred once one enters academia?
Many of the bloggers here on www.HipHopLaw.com have experience in hip-hop culture beyond their academic interests, and as many fall in the loosely defined "hip-hop generation," it seems that they have some authority on the question of hip-hop. This seems to be a common charge against academics, the notion that they are somehow apart from their area of scholarship, but usually that charge is leveled by non-academics. But, that criticism is certainly not universally applicable. Is it even legitimate?
I don't think anyone is confusing any of the bloggers here with Nas, MC Lyte, or whomever, but I also don't think that's the point. No one on this blog is trying to become a hip-hop star (at least not to my knowledge). The goal for hip-hop scholars should not be to be rappers. I don't ever want to be mistaken for any of the people I listen to or write about, I just want to bring my personal story and research to the hip-hop and legal communit(y)(ies) and see what happens. I don't think what I write is valuable because I have a J.D., I think it's just another voice in the milieu, hopefully a voice that says something important and adds to the ongoing discussion. Most of us writing on this blog, are modest in this respect and I think it is something we try to convey to friends, colleagues, and students. But, according to professor Jones, few people may be taking us seriously...
I wonder what Professor Jones means when he talks of this monolithic "professor." What are the characteristics of his "professor?"
I'd be interested in seeing what others in the blogosphere think about this article and about the above mentioned quote.