A college course in Canada offers a chance to study and learn everything there is about singer Drake and The Weekend, CNN reports.
Dalton Higgins, a professor and author from Ryerson University has announced that he will offer a new media course featuring the Toronto-bred artist’s Drake and The Weeknd.
Dalton Higgins is an award-winning hip hop journalist and pop culture lecturer who has authored six books, including the definitive biography of Drizzy, Far From Over: The Music and Life of Drake.
The course called “RTA 950: Deconstructing Drake and The Weeknd” will be available for students during the January 2022 winter semester.
Higgins shared the news on social media, adding his reasonings for offering the course to students at the Canadian school.
“It’s time to get our Canadian rap and R&B icons recognized and canonized academically or otherwise,” Prof Higgins, who will also be teaching the class, said. “It is critical for scholars and historians to examine the Toronto music scene that birthed Drake/Weeknd and helped create the conditions for them to become mega-successful.”
According to the university, the class will be one of the flagship courses for the school’s Professional Music BA program, Canada’s “first transdisciplinary professional music undergraduate program”.
Higgins is the new Professional Music (BFA) program’s professor in residence at Ryerson University.
Talking to CNN, The Creative School Dean Charles Falzon shared that “even before registration opens, the enthusiasm for the class is already quite significant so I have a feeling it’ll pack up very quickly.”
Higgins says he will focus on dissecting Drake and the Weeknd lyrics in his class to highlight their “monumental” impact on the music industry.
“What people tend to forget about Drake is that he’s actually a great writer,” Higgins told CNN. “In his rhymes, he employs all kinds of literary devices like metaphors, iambic pentameter, similes, so we’re going to deconstruct his lyrics and examine how he puts his songs together.”
A spokesperson from Ryerson University told Narcity that “students will explore hip-hop and pop culture through Toronto-born artists, Drake, and The Weeknd. While examining the scene that birthed them and the conditions that helped create their success”.
They further said that the course will also examine issues of representation in the Canadian music scene “which saw both artists turn to the US to find fortune and fame.”
Drake has won four Grammy Awards, six American Music Awards, a record of 29 Billboard Music Awards, two Brit Awards, and three Juno Awards, and holds several Billboard Hot 100 chart records.
As an entrepreneur, Drake founded the OVO Sound record label with longtime collaborator 40 in 2012. In 2013, Drake became the new “global ambassador” of the Toronto Raptors, joining the executive committee of the NBA franchise, while owning naming rights to its practice facility.
Meanwhile, The Weeknd is considered an influential figure in contemporary popular music.
Among the world’s best-selling music artists with over 75 million records sold, The Weeknd has won three Grammy Awards, five American Music Awards, two MTV Video Music Awards, fifteen Juno Awards.
He also has one Brit Award, has been nominated for an Academy Award, and holds several Billboard chart records. In 2020, he was listed by Time as one of the world’s most influential people.
Along with his influential musical talents, The Weeknd is also an outspoken activist. In April, he pledged $1 million to Ethiopian relief efforts through the UN World Food Programme.
Professor Higgins also shared his philosophy behind the importance of the course.
“When you have these two Black Canadian artists from Toronto who are performing rap, R&B, and pop, and are arguably on their way to becoming billionaires at some point in the future, there is a lot to learn from them,” he said.
The class will also examine the entrepreneurial side of both musical artists, who Professor Higgins said have to be strong business people to succeed after rising “from humble origins.”
The international success of both artists is undeniable. Both have recently made history and set records with their careers and continue to top the charts across hip-hop, R&B, and pop.