Comprehending Hip Hop

History, Culture and Language

By Spyridon ‘Spin’ Nicon

Wednesday evenings, October 4 to December 6 (10 weeks)

5 to 7 pm

Open to grades 9, 10, 11 & 12



Hip Hop is a rich and vibrant culture. It is composed of four key elements – DJs, MCs, B-Boys & Graffiti Writers. Hip hop is a great American art form, a social movement, a voice, a sound and an expression of youth culture. Not a passing phase, hip hop has endured, and its history is worthy of deep examination. Hip hop is a powerful lens, through which we can better see the world, our cities, our communities, and the inhabitants therein. Hip hop provides narrative, where often there is none. Gaining a stronger understanding of hip hop allows for strong student engagement, and creates a platform for dynamic discussions and critical conversations.


By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Understand why hip hop is important
  • Know about the 4 elements of hip hop
  • Acknowledge the history of hip hop and its pioneers
  • Get a sense of the power and influence of hip hop
  • Recognize hip hop as a lens for seeing the world
  • Leverage this knowledge in other aspects of academic life
  • Engage in critical and controversial conversations


What does hip hop mean to you? What does hip hop mean to the world? Why does it even matter? Join in critical conversations and dynamic discussions as we embark on a deeper understanding of this great American art form. Take a look at the history, sociology and impact of this vibrant culture that started on a block in the South Bronx, and made its way around the globe. Hip hop is – and always has been - an expression of youth culture, perseverance and innovation. Seize this opportunity to get up with the Graffiti Writers, dig the sounds of the DJs, marvel at the MCs, and rock to the breaks with the B-Boys. Comprehending Hip Hop will provide an exciting lens through which you can see your world in engaging new ways.

Full disclosure: This course will deal with controversial subject matter and context-driven language that may not be suitable for all audiences.

Weekly Overview

Session Date Topic

  • Session 1 / October 4: What does hip hop mean to you? Intro
  • Session 2 / October 11: Part 1 of "Style Wars" graffiti discussion
  • Session 3 / October 18: Part 2 of "Style Wars" graffiti discussion
  • Session 4 / October 25: Pioneers of rap. Intro the MC
  • Session 5 / November 1: Understanding the hip hop DJ
  • Session 6 / November 8: In-class DJ demo
  • Session 7 / November 15: A look at the B-Boy and hip hop dance
  • Session 8 / November 22: In-class dance demo and interview
  • Session 9 / November 29: Dissection of a rap song
  • Session 10 / December 6: Reflection on new knowledge/wrap up

About Spin

Spyridon "Spin" Nicon is a life-long hip hop fan. He has had the benefit of coming of age and forming his musical identity during the rise of hip hip culture. With 30+ years of absorbing knowledge through many avenues, he continues to be enamoured with the power and influence of hip hop. His passion for storytelling, sharing, connecting and translating has been deemed "infectious." Whether you are new to the genre, already a fan, or somewhere in the middle, this class will cast new light and broaden your view.


Hampton Tutors
4500 9th Ave NE, Suite 300, Seattle, WA, 98105



Class may be billable through insurance in some cases; contact Hampton Tutors for further information.



Terms, conditions and refund policy:
In the event that you must cancel, your payment will be fully refundable until 5 business days prior to the class start date. Cancellations made less than 5 business days in advance of the class will be partially refunded at 50% (for example, $250 refund payment for a $500 class). Cancellations may be made by phone or email.

In the event that we must cancel the class, we will notify you via phone or email and refund you in full.