Adria Goldman, Assistant Professor of Communication, is one of three guest editors of a special issue of The Journal of Hip Hop Studies devoted to Kanye West. According to the abstract, “The goal of this project, ‘I Gotta Testify: Kanye West, Hip Hop, and the Church,’ is to add a new perspective to the scholarly discourse on Hip Hop and Christianity within classrooms, religious institutions, and popular culture by focusing on Kanye. We chose to focus on Kanye because he has been one of Hip Hop’s most influential artists in the past decade. Furthermore, Kanye is one of the most polarizing celebrities in America and across the globe. His music, fashion, political views, and family (which includes the Kardashians) dominate discourse on social media, blogs, television, and other forms of mass media. With the exception of Julius Bailey’s 2014 edited book, The Cultural Impact of Kanye West, there has been little scholarly work published on Kanye. Bailey’s book contained just one essay, written by Monica R. Miller, dedicated to the theme of Kanye and religion. We intended to produce a nontraditional journal issue, partly because Kanye has never adhered to traditional boundaries. We also chose this method because we wanted to provide a document suitable for both academic and popular audiences. Kanye West identifies as a Christian and primarily uses Christian themes in his music, videos, concerts, and messaging.”
For more information, please see the journal issue.