The last two decades have witnessed a dramatic rise in dissertations, theses, and other academic publications exploring hip-hop music, while college courses on hip-hop history have become commonplace. The growing prominence of hip-hop music in our curricular and research agendas, however, does not necessarily make the study of music at colleges and universities more inclusive. In fact, the increasing attention musicologists and music theorists are paying to rap paradoxically threatens to shore up the value of whiteness in the discipline. This contribution addresses the problem by seeking answers to three interrelated questions: (1) What can the incorporation of hip-hop teach us about the challenges of ‘diversity' in music departments primarily devoted to the study and performance of Western classical music? (2) Does the work of non-Black scholars who write about music made by Black bodies contribute to the freeing of those bodies, or merely represent yet another way that they are consumed by white supremacy? (3) How can popular music studies help to overcome ongoing racial inequality within schools and departments of music? The arrival of hip-hop in music departments represents an opportunity to move in bold new directions. If we want to create a more just future for musicology and music theory, then the study of hip-hop in these fields will need to be accompanied by efforts to introduce forms of ‘significant difference’ that transform our respective disciplines as well as the institutions within which we work.