A couple weeks ago I traveled to Atlantic City to see an old friend, Tracey, perform in one of those celebrity impersonation concerts. I arrived late (fashionably, of course) to the performance venue, and received my ticket. As I entered into the auditorium packed with people, I was surrounded by the booming voice of my [...]
Negus- noun: Kingship, royalty. Inspired by the works of artists such as Kendrick Lamar and Kehinde Wiley, I wanted to explore different levels of identity and representation of the black male in the United States. "Negus" is a Hip-hop work that asks African-American males, where do we come from, who are we now, what values [...]
As much as the prison complex and the rap industry affect the livelihood of black males in society, they also affect the way in which black males are seen in this society. Again, the understanding of how a criminal label can affect how you are seen is fairly simple, but the role of the commercial [...]
Part 3: Ice Cube—previous member of the rap group, NWA—in The Art of Rap says, “What [street knowledge] means to me is letting the streets know what the politicians is trying to do to them and then letting the politicians know what the streets think of them, if they’re listening.” In the same interview, Ice [...]
Part 2: Interestingly, there has been another movement, the Hip-hop movement, transpiring in urban environments, especially amongst African American males. Hip-hop’s music has always been used to represent a counter-cultural movement. However, the ways in which Hip-hop has accomplished this has shifted since it has become more commodified. In the 1980’s and 90’s Hip-hop was [...]
This project explores the impact of many commercial rap songs on our society in regards to the representation of blackness in America. It also combats the use of glorifying criminalization within rap songs as a way to silence the productive voices of blackness and black people in this country. Enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbnneR--Ucs&feature=youtu.be
This post is part 1 of a paper I wrote about the correlation between the rise of mass incarceration in America and the rise of thug culture glorified within commercial rap music.