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The ability of popular art to offer societal critiques and challenge received ideas has been recognized throughout history. Through rap and hip-hop, composers, singers, and entertainers have recently provided a voice questioning and challenging the sanctioned view of the times. This book offers an in-depth reading of the works and cultural impact of Kanye West. Looking at the moral and social implications of West's words, images, and music in the broader context of Western civilization's preconceived ideas, the contributors consider how West both challenges religious and moral norms and propagates them.
Julius Bailey is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Wittenberg University, USA. He is the editor of Jay-Z: Essays on Hip Hop's Philosopher King (2011) and author of numerous articles on hip hop pedagogy and social justice issues.
Table of Contents
Foreword; Davey D Preface ; Julius Bailey PART I: REVISITING THE PHARMAKON: ARTISTIC GIFTS/HUMAN COMPLEXITIES 1. Now I Ain't Saying He's a 'Crate Digger': Kanye West and the Soul Archive; Mark Anthony Neal 2. Kanye West: Asterisk Genius?; Akil Houston 3. Afrofuturism: The Visual Imagery of Kanye West; Reynaldo Anderson and John Jennings 4. You got Kanyed: Seen But Not Heard; David J. Leonard 5. 'An Examination of the Kanye West Higher Education Trilogy; Heidi R. Lewis PART II: UNPACKING HETERO-NORMATIVITY AND COMPLICATING RACE AND GENDER 6. 'By Any Means Necessary': Kanye West and the Hypermasculine Construct; Sha'Dawn Battle 7. Kanye West's Sonic Cosmopolitanism; Regina Bradley 8. 'Hard to Get Straight' Kanye West, Masculine Anxiety, Dis-identification; Tim'm West 9. You Can't Stand the Nigger I See!: Kanye West's Analysis of Anti-Black Death; Tommy Curry PART III: THEORIZING THE AESTHETIC, THE POLITICAL, AND THE EXISTENTIAL 10. When Apollo and Dionysus Clash: A Nietzschean perspective on the work of Kanye West"; Julius Bailey 11. The God of the New Slaves or Slave to a Religion and a God?; Monica Miller 12. Trimalchio From Chicago: Flashing Lights & The Great Kanye in West Egg; A.D. Carson 13. Confidently (Non)cognizant of Neoliberalism: Kanye West and the Interruption of Taylor Swift; Nick Krebs 14. Kanye Omari West: Visions of Modernity; Dawn Boeck