Accolades: Hip-Hop Professor Climbs the Charts

Written by Dan Heuchert,

By Dan Heuchert for UVA Today

In addition to releasing the first-ever peer reviewed rap album, University of Virginia professor of hip-hop A.D. Carson has seen another example of his work climb the music charts this year.

Carson, who joined the faculty of the McIntire Department of Music in 2017, recently posted his second top-10 hit. “Ohana,” a song he wrote with Hawaiian reggae artist Akoni – Carson also performs on the single – reached No. 6 on the iTunes reggae downloads list on Dec. 2.

This is the second time Carson has charted in the last six months. In July, a comedy rap album he performed on, “Doors,” by Handsome Naked, reached No. 2 on iTunes and was the No. 10 comedy album in the Billboard rankings.

This summer – three years after releasing an album as his Ph.D. dissertation – Carson released the first peer-reviewed rap album ever published by an academic press: “i used to love to dream” (University of Michigan Press), the third album in his “Sleepwalking” series. It explores Carson’s hometown, Decatur, Illinois, and its effect on him as his career has taken off and taken him further from where he grew up, including to Clemson University, where he earned his Ph.D., and now to Charlottesville and UVA, where he is the assistant professor of hip-hop and the global south in the McIntire Department of Music.

This article originally appeared in UVAToday on 12/8/20, written by Dan Heuchert,, Photo by Dan Addison


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