The Linguistic and Lyrical Development of 2Pac in Relation to Regional Hip-hop Identity and Conflict

  • Steven Gilbers


Some of hip-hop’s most ferocious expressions of dissatisfaction occur during hip-hop battles about regional status, especially during the East Coast-West Coast hip-hop conflict, which culminated in the deaths of 2Pac and The Notorious B.I.G. By examining 2Pac’s lyrics and his accent from before and during the conflict, this chapter investigates how 2Pac became West Coast hip-hop’s avatar despite being from New York originally. The results suggest 2Pac accomplished this by disassociating himself from East Coast hip-hop in his lyrics and by deliberately manipulating his accent to sound like a native Californian and be accepted by the West Coast hip-hop community.


Accent change African American English regional dialects Deliberate accent manipulation East Coast-West Coast hip-hop war Longitudinal study Regional hip-hop conflict Regional identity Second dialect acquisition Tupac “2Pac” Shakur Vowel duration 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven Gilbers
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands

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