Why Stop Now?:
Many rap music fans today are primarily concerned with recent songs and current artists, so why stop our
survey or rap music before 2000.
Why not continue to the present, why is there so little attention paid to
music after 1995?
The problem is that the most important historical issues and meanings of most rap songs
and performances since 95, have yet to be determined.
There history has yet to be written because we don’t
have enough perspective.
Return to this class in 10 or 5 years this picture would look different.
artists and songs would emerge as most influential, while other will be forgotton.
Popularity and influence
don’t always line up.
The artists today that sell the most albums today may not be written about in text
books because they didn’t have an influence.
Approaches to Analysis
Summary of Analytical Methods:
In this course we have learned about a number of approaches to analyzing and interpreting rap music.
These can be divided into four basic categories:
Origins and Sources, Aesthetics, Discourse Analysis,
Subject and Object Analysis.
First we practice hearing the musical connections with rap music and various source genres, The dozens,
Grio Songs, The Toasts, Funk Music.
Then we pondered how basic aesthetic principles like rupture, flow,
and layering manifest in different rap examples.
From there we shifted into thinking about what all this
musical data means.
We use discourse analysis to think about how masculinity, feminitity, blackness,
whiteness, and other discourses appear in rap music and how these give songs meaning.
Lastly we examine
power differences in rap through the lenses of subject and object.
So far this term we have used these basic
approaches as basic tools for examing examples of rap and creating our own analysis.
The challenge for us
as rap students is to use them in ways that are balanced to create sound arguments for our interpretations.
We can use these methods to find musical reasons why our interpretation of a song is best.
music in this way is important for two reasons.
First because we understand basic of how rap music works
and where it comes from.
We have a special perspective to offer in current debates about rap music in
Whether we argree with what rappers are saying or not, we know how to talk about the music and
that’s more that can be said then many.
By creating our own analysis and interpretations we can establish
our own voice.
Rap has clearly dominated American popular music in the last 20 years.
Displacing rock and roll at the top
of the charts, spreading around the globe, and speaking to current political and social issues.
It has done so
by remaining close to its roots in afrocarribean, afro American, and latino culture.
It has surveyed the basic
styles of rap and outlined the development of hip hops major elements from the 1970s and 1990s along the
way we have encountered a few, but not all artists from this period.
This knowledge should serve us well