Category Archives: Hip-Hop and Rap

“My President is Black” – Young Jeezy

The presentation and representation of black subjectivity in 21st century hip-hop and rap music tends to be problematic. While some artists continue to deliver the same politically and socially conscious messages of their predecessors, those shadowy few have become marginalized by mainstream hip-hop and rap. As African American music continues to thrive as an artistic outlet that fosters cultural growth and experimentation and allows artists to share their voice with a world audience, it is time to reconsider what exactly is worth sharing. Instead of spreading messages of racism, violence, and the degradation of women, contemporary voices of African American music need to come together like the generations before them to find a new forms and new sounds for expressing authentic 21st black subjectivity outside of the confines of the mainstream market.

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“Changes” – Tupac Shakur

Released posthumously, Tupac Shakur’s 1998 hit “Changes” is an example of rap music’s powerful imagery pre-commercialization of the genre. A west coast rapper, Tupac was shot and killed in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1996. Many consider Tupac and his rap rival Notorious B.I.G. who was also shot and killed less than a year later, martyrs for the cause. In “Changes,” Tupac raps about black subjectivity and experience and questions the possibility of change

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