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Rap and Hip Hop Culture

Fernando Orejuela

Publication Date - August 2014

ISBN: 9780199987733

272 pages
7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $78.95

The complete history of rap and hip hop and its impact on American culture


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

About the Author(s)

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.


"Rap and Hip Hop Culture is truly excellent. I would certainly recommend it to anyone who is considering a textbook for this course."--Joseph Schloss, Baruch College

"Well written and engaging. My students will have no problem understanding the approach and they will benefit from the ideas presented."--William E. Smith, North Carolina Central University

"A comprehensive approach to the subject of hip hop, covering sociological, historical, musical, and technological aspects."--Scott Schlesinger, Wake Tech Community College

Table of Contents

    * Every chapter begins with learning objectives and ends with a chapter summary, study questions, and key terms
    1. What is Hip Hop? What Is Rap?
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    Crossing-over: The New Wave Connection
    New Technologies and New Experimentation
    6. The Golden Era
    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"
    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
    8. Hardcore II: Gangsta in the '90s and Responses from Within the Rap Community
    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
    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
    What is Hip Hop? Round Two

Related Title

Rap and Hip Hop Culture

Rap and Hip Hop Culture

Second Edition

Fernando Orejuela, Ph.D.

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