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Rap Music

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Casey Rhine

on 3 October 2014

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Transcript of Rap Music

Rap Music: Rags to Riches

Presentation by Hannah Chambers, Jessica Donaldson, and Casey Rhine
Characteristics of Rap Music
Influence of traditional African and Caribbean music and poetry of the beat poets of the 1960s
Rhythmic beats with strong basslines
Originality in lyricism
Initially: "The Struggle," socioeconomic unrest, political imbalance, race and class related issues
"Keep in mind when brothas start flexing the verbal skillz, it always reflects what's going on politically, socially, and economically." --Musician Davey D

Breaking The Mold: Challenging the
Boundaries of Rap Music
Meet The Artist
Ben Haggerty A.K.A Macklemore
Macklemore's most recognized works have been aimed towards a pop culture reformation. His most recent album, "The Heist" has challenges widely accepted social norms
Distancing from Social Norms
Case Study: "Same Love"
Perception changed from overarching societal ideas
Misconceptions about sexuality
We form our self perception through what we know others think about us (Henslin 70)
Verse 1: Lines 1 & 2
"When I was in the third grade I thought that I was gay,
'Cause I could draw, my uncle was, and I kept my room straight."

Addressing the Problem
Norms: Informal understandings that govern an individuals behavior in society, a group-held belief on how someone should act (Scott & Marshall 2009)
Homophobia as a norm
Change is coming
If I was gay, I would think hip-hop hates me
Have you read the YouTube comments lately?
"Man, that's gay" gets dropped on the daily
We become so numb to what we're saying
A culture founded from oppression
Yet we don't have acceptance for 'em
Call each other faggots behind the keys of a message board
A word rooted in hate, yet our genre still ignores it
Gay is synonymous with the lesser

Making The Mold: Demography, And Commercialization of Rap Music
Rap As A Form of Resistance
Gendered Portrayals:
Female Rappers

"70% to 80% of people who buy rap music are white" (Bialik 2005).
Roots Of Rap: Setting Boundaries
Political tie to "rhyming games" of African Americans in the slavery system
Increasing commodification
Changing audience leads to changing rappers
Pressure to take on the role of "pimp," "gangsta," or "playa" because it is a profitable position and appeals to the younger generation that fuels the rap industry. (Blancher)
Erasure of context from which rap was formed (Blancher)
Initially bound by rapping about "real" things
now bound by it's commodification and negative themes
Bridging and Bounding
"rap music was stolen from
its community" (Blanchard)
Does not completely bridge white community (Appelrouth and Kelly 2013)

“Moving from silence into speech is for the oppressed, the colonized, the exploited, and those who stand and struggle side by side a gesture of defiance that heals, that makes new life and new growth possible. It is that act of speech, of ‘talking back’ that is no mere gesture of empty words, that is the expression of our movement from object to subject—the liberated voice” (hooks, qtd. in Forman 2001: 40).
Merton's Strain Theory
Gender and Race:
Black Male Rappers
Colorism: "a subtype of racial phenotypicality bias in which skin tone is used as a metric by which to discriminate against those on the outside or within one's own racioethnic group" (Marira and Mitra 2013: 103)
Gender and Race:
Women in the Background
GSS 1993 Rap Music
Rap Hotspots
Name as many rappers as you can in
1 minute!

Themes of Rap Music
Social conditions
Daily struggles
on O
f Rap

Questions? Concerns?
Full transcript