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New Ryerson Class Is All About Drake & The Weeknd & You'll Learn Everything From OVO To XO

Here's what students can expect.

Toronto Associate Editor
New Ryerson Class Is All About Drake & The Weeknd & You'll Learn Everything From OVO To XO

If you're a major stan of Drake and The Weeknd, Ryerson will soon be offering a class all about these Toronto icons.

Ryerson or "X University" — which will soon have an official name change — will be hosting a course called "Deconstructing Drake and The Weeknd" by Dalton Higgins this coming winter semester in 2022. 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.

He's the new Professional Music (BFA) program's professor-in-residence at Ryerson U.

"Why Drake & The Weeknd, one might ask? Well, there are great courses out there being taught about numerous rock, folk, and pop stars like Miley Cyrus, Bruce Springsteen, Lady Gaga, so why not The Weeknd and Dizzy," Higgins wrote in his IG post announcing the new lecture. "Also, I've been kicking around the Hip Hop Ed scene for years and have seen some great courses being taught in the USA about Jay Z (Georgetown University), Outkast (Armstrong State University), Beyonce (there are MANY Bey courses; Arizona State, University of Texas; Rutgers University)."

"Ivy League? We got you covered there too, as one of my books 'Hip Hop World' can be found at Harvard University's Hip Hop Archive, while Cornell University's Hip Hop Collection houses nearly 20,000 photos from one of my mentors Ernie Pannicioli, one of hip hop's most prolific photographers," Higgins continued.

Narcity reached out to Higgins who shared what students can expect to learn from this class.

"Well, 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," Higgins wrote via email. "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 artists."

Drake and The Weeknd stood out from the many other Torontonian musicians, and Higgins posited the question of what made them stand out. "Are they doing things a little differently? What's their business acumen and entrepreneurial zest like? Did race, gender, class, faith play into any of this?" Higgins continued, adding that you don't even have to have known the stars prior to taking this course.

The hip-hop expert pointed out how Drizzy's Certified Lover Boy is his tenth Billboard No.1 album. "If that ain't aspirational for Gen Now Ryerson / X University students (who can take the course), then what is?"

"In this course, 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," a spokesperson from Ryerson U told Narcity via email. 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."

At the time of publishing, Higgins' post had over a hundred comments from people expressing interest and support of the new course.

"Sneaking into these lectures," IG user @ericzawo commented.

"This is gold," @naomigtherapy wrote. "Changemaker in the house. Those lucky kids that get to take this course."

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