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The Death of Dissent and the Decline of Dissin’: A Diachronic Study of Race, Gender, and Genre in Mainstream American Rap

  • John P. Racine
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter presents a diachronic corpus-based study of mainstream American rap. By analyzing lyrical themes and conducting a genre analysis of lyrics from the past and present, the author demonstrates that expressions of dissatisfaction and dissent have all but disappeared from contemporary American rap. Didactic messages from “authentic”, streetwise artists of the past have been replaced with more introspective lyrical content from current artists. The data indicates that while the focus of lyrical themes and genres has shifted over the years, the demographics of the artists who create them has not. The most influential rap artists have remained almost exclusively Black and male from the birth of rap music until today.

Keywords

Rap music Genre analysis Gender Race Lyrics 

Notes

Acknowledgment

The author wishes to express his thanks to Jaspal Singh for his insightful comments on an earlier version of this chapter, and to Dawn Knight and Mercedes Durham for their input during the early stages of this research.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • John P. Racine
    • 1
  1. 1.Dokkyo UniversitySoka CityJapan

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