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Historical Analysis

Title: A Historical Analysis: The Evolution of Commercial Rap Music.
Name(s): Johnson, Maurice L., II, author
Adams, Jonathan, professor directing thesis
Heald, Gary, committee member
McDowell, Stephen, committee member
School of Communication, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2011
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Detractors of the current lyrical content of Hip Hop music claim it has devolved to the proliferation of the gangsta image as the defacto voice of contemporary Hip Hop culture. However, the factors that influenced the evolution of rap music have gone unexamined. The current research is a historical analysis that attempts to document the origins of commercial rap music and the factors and events that drastically affected its development as an art form. These factors include but are not limited to the discovery of white suburban males as the primary consumers of gangsta rap, which led to the genre garnering the most mainstream and commercial appeal, and the research examines how the deregulatory statutes of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 created an unnatural progression of the music that has resulted in the stifling of socially conscious artists and the promotion of hardcore rap music into a commercially lucrative global commodity. Results of the analysis show that the early commercial rap lyrical content began as a cultural response to the socioeconomic oppression of inner-city African-Americans, and lyrics were geared towards a party atmosphere in the late 1970s and early 1980s before progressing to the addressing of social issues plaguing the black community. The analysis also suggests that because of the differences in which gang culture developed in New York City and Los Angeles, respectively, two very distinct and separate cradles of Hip Hop civilization were formed. The New York artists were geared towards socially conscious ideals while West Coast artists took a much more confrontational approach and created what is now referred to as gangsta rap. The consequences of white consumption of black popular culture are discussed and are key in understanding the development of the Hip Hop music industry; the extreme, still- prevalent effects of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 are also examined, as well as the resulting trends in lyrical content.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-3486 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of Communication in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science.
Degree Awarded: Summer Semester, 2011.
Date of Defense: April 7, 2011.
Keywords: Rap Music In Historical Context, Rap Lyrics And Politics, Oral Literature, Rap Lyrics As Poetry, Rap Lyrics And Society, Lyrical Analysis, Rap Lyric Content Shifts
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Jonathan Adams, Professor Directing Thesis; Gary Heald, Committee Member; Stephen McDowell, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Communication
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

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Johnson, M. L. (2011). A Historical Analysis: The Evolution of Commercial Rap Music. Retrieved from