Rap and Hip Hop Culture

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 8/1/2014
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Rap and Hip Hop Culture traces the ideological, social, historical, and cultural influences on a musical genre that first came to prominence in the mid-1970s in one of New York's toughest neighborhoods, the South Bronx. Orejuela describes how the arts of DJing, MCing, breakin' [b-boying], and graffiti developed as a way for this community's struggle to find its own voice. He addresses rap's early successes on the pop charts; its spread to mainstream culture; the growth of "gangsta rap" and mainstream society's reaction to it; and the commercial success of rap music from the '90s through today. Throughout, this enlightening text highlights key performers, producers, and voices in the rap and hip hop movements, using their stories to illuminate the underlying issues of racism, poverty, prejudice, and artistic freedom that are part of rap and hip hop's ongoing legacy.

Distinctive Features
* Traces the roots of rap and hip hop culture in African and African American history
* Designed for an introductory course in rap and hip hop for students with little or no background in music
* Includes 17 detailed listening guides covering key recordings in rap's history
* Addresses the many controversies surrounding rap music, including violence, sexism, and racial stereotyping
* Includes chapter outlines and goals, questions for further discussion and study, and key terms

Author Biography

Fernando Orejuela is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology and Adjunct Professor of African American and African Diaspora Studies and Latino Studies at Indiana University.

Table of Contents

* Every chapter ends with a chapter summary, study questions, and key terms



1. What is Hip Hop? What Is Rap?
Learning Objectives
A Few Definitions to Guide Our Study
The Key Players
-The DJ
-The MC
-Breaking (B-Boys/B-Girls)
Hip Hop Chronology
Hip Hop's Roots

2. Hip Hop's Ground Zero: The South Bronx and Urban America
Learning Objectives
The South Bronx: Where Hip Hop Was Born
The Lure of the Gang Lifestyle
The Gang Leader
From Street Gangs to Social Clubs

3. Graffiti Art and Breaking
Learning Objectives
Graffiti Art
The Emerging Youth Graffiti Scene
-Graffiti Clubs
-The Importance of Style
-Style Wars
The Second Generation
-Graffiti in the Market Place
-Graffiti and the Transit Authority
The End of the Grafitti Era
B-Boying and Breaking
-Comparing the Martial Art and the Dance
African American Roots of Breakdancing
-Tap Dancing
-Jitterbug and Dance Contests
-James Brown
B-Boy, Breakin' and Breakdancing
-Kool Herc's Contribution
-The Term "B-Boy"
Listening Guide: Give It Up or Turnit A Loose."
Listening Guide: Listening to Jimmy Castor Bunch:"It's Just Begun."
-The Foundational Years: 1974-1977
-Latinos Contribute to the Dance Form: 1976-1977
-Hitting the Clubs
B-boying as Performance Spectacle
West Coast Style

4. Rap's African and African American Cultural Roots
Learning Objectives
Rap's Pop Culture Roots
African Roots of Rap as Oral Expression: The Jeli Tradition
Storytelling Genres
-Boasting (Praising Oneself)
-Playing the Dozens/Signifyin'
African American Girl Culture
MC Battles

5. Old School DJs and MCs
Learning Objectives
The First Wave: DJs and the Early Party Scene
DJ Kool Herc
-Herc's Blueprints
Competition and the Ensuing DJ Battle Culture
Afrika Bambaataa
Grandmaster Flash
-"Quick Mix Theory" and other DJ Techniques
The Founding Fathers' Contributions
The Role of the DJ
-"Digging the Crates": [Re]searching for the Perfect Beat
-Techniques and Gear
-Sources for Beats: Funk
The DJ Needs an MC
-The MC Emerges
-DJs Overshadowed by their MCs
The Hip Hop Name
The Second Wave: "Rapper's Delight" Changes Everything
Listening Guide: Listening to the Sugarhill Gang: "Rapper's Delight"
The New Guard: Early Commercial Old School Rap
Listening Guide: Listening to Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five: "The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel"
Crossing-over: The New Wave Connection
New Technologies and New Experimentation

6. The Golden Era
Learning Objectives
From Old School to New School: Concept of Rappin'
Second Generation of Rappers
New School Innovations
A Survey of New School Styles and Themes (1980s-1990s)
-Rap-Rock Fusion: The Emergence of Run-D.M.C. and the Beastie Boys
Listening Guide: Listening to Run-D.M.C.: "Rock Box."
-Response Rap/Dis Rap: Putting Beef on Wax
-Rap Ballads
-Feminist Themes
Listening Guide: Listening to LL Cool J: "I Need Love"
Listening Guide: Listening to Queen Latifah: "Ladies First"
-Novelty/Humorous Rap
-Freestyle: a.k.a. Latino Hip Hop
Listening Guide: Listening to Nayobe: "Please Don't Go"
-Hardcore Rap
-Dirty/Booty Rap
Rap: Just A fad?

7. Hardcore: "Message Rap" and "Gangsta Rap"
Learning Objectives
Hardcore Rap
Flashback: "The Message" That Almost Didn't Happen
Lyrical Referencing: Sister Souljah
Visual References and Message Rap
Political Empowerment: Public Enemy
Listening Guide: Listening to Public Enemy: "Burn Hollywood Burn"
From Cultural Movement to Political Movement to Popular Movement
Popular Movement
Hardcore, Too: From Gangsta Style to Gangsta Rap
-Earliest Gangsta Style
-Think like a Gangsta
The L.A. Gangsta Rap Scene
Listening Guide: Listening to Ice-T: "Rhyme Pays"
Listening Guide: Listening to N.W.A.: "Straight Outta Compton"
Rap Music as a Conduit for Political Culture
-Afrocentric Rap
-Five Percent Rappers
Consideration of Black Nationalism and Rap Music: Wasn't Old School also "Message Rap"?
Gangstas and Stock Characters from Folklore: Two Types of Hustlers
Popular Culture Media Images in Gangsta and X-rated Rap: Blaxploitation and Gangster Films

8. Hardcore II: Gangsta in the '90s and Responses from Within the Rap Community
Learning Objectives
Keeping It Real? Issues Underscoring the Representation and Exploitation of Rap
Harsh Messages of Gangsta and X-Rated Rappers
X-rated Rap/Miami Bass
Controversy with Gangsta and X-rated Rap
-Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC)
-Charges of Obscenity and Censoring Hip Hop
-1994 Senate Hearings against Gangsta Rap
The Emergence of G-Funk
Followers of G-Funk
Pop Rap goes Hardcore
East Coast-West Coast Rivalry: Not Just Biggie and 2pac
Responding to Gangsta Rap's Domination
Spiritual Themes
Lauryn Hill
-Rastafarian Themes
-Black Feminist Spirituality and Values
Listening Guide: Listening to Lauryn Hill: "Doo Wop (That Thing)"
Christian Rap
Rap and Judaism
Jazz-Rap Fusion
-Jazz-Rap Fusion Movement in the 1990s
Listening Guide: Listening to Us3: "Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)"
Listening Guide: Listening to A Tribe Called Quest: "Excursions"
Women in Hip Hop and Rap
-Women as Objects from a Male Rapper Perspective
-Women as Subject: Towards a Womanist Approach to Hip Hop
White Rappers in the 1990s

9. Hip Hop Culture and Rap Music in the Second Millennium
Learning Objectives
Hip Hop: Into the New Millennium (1995-Today)
What is Underground Hip Hop?
The South
Southern Hip Hop Styles
-Southern Message Rap
-Southern Gangsta
-Bounce Music (New Orleans)
Listening Guide: Listening to David Banner, Featuring Lil' Flip: "Like a Pimp"
-Lil Wayne Phenomenon
-Chopped and Screwed (Houston)
Listening Guide: Listening to Three 6 Mafia, Featuring UGK, and Project Pat: "Sippin' on Some Syrup"
-Crunk (Memphis and Atlanta)/Crunk & B
-Snap Music (Atlanta)
-Cocaine Rap
-South as Pop
Underground Rap as Independent or Alternative Rap Music
-Rhymesayers Entertainment
-The Underground Scene in Los Angeles: The Good Life Café and Project Blowed
The Millennials (or the Millennial Generation)
-Pharrell Williams and Kanye West
Young Innovators
-Drake and Nicki Minaj
Listening Guide: Listening to Kanye West, Featuring Rick Ross, Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, and Bon Iver: "Monster"
-Hip Hop Futurism

10. Conclusion
Learning Objectives
What is Hip Hop? Round Two


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