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Re-taking it to the streets :investigating hip-hop's emergence in the spaces of late capitalism

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Author: Kosanovich, Kevin Waide
Advisor: McGovern, Charles
Committee Members: Knight, Arthur; Gamber, John
Abstract: Much of the scholarship focusing on rap and hip-hop argues that these cultural forms represent instances of African American cultural resistance. Although rap and hip-hop affords marginalized voices the opportunity to speak out and be heard, rap and hip-hop’s critical position is too often critically neglected. Examining the historical, cultural, scholarly, and commodity modalities of rap and hip-hop through careful attention to its spatiality provides a new critical understanding of not only rap and hip-hop, but also late twentieth century America. Through an examination and consideration of scholarship devoted to space and rap, most notably Murray Forman, a careful historical examination of hip-hop’s urban emergence through hip-hop’s four foundational elements, and an inspection of the rap album as a representation of urban, as well as economic, space, rap and hip-hop’s socio-cultural relationship to late capitalism in the United States is completely reinterpreted. Instead of being a pure, cultural expression of outrage and dissent subsequently sullied and neutered by the marketplace, rap and hip-hop is inextricable from the spaces of late capitalism. Importantly, this new understanding of rap and hip-hop presents broader implications for rap and hip-hop studies. Understanding rap and hip-hop’s central relationship to late capitalism provides an opportunity to conceive a political economy of rap that has been missing from existing scholarship.
Issued Date: 2008
Subjects: Rap (Music)--History and criticism
Rap (Music)--Social aspects
Hip-hop--Social aspects
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10288/5501
Degree: Masters of Arts in American Studies Program

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