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We Live This Shit: Rap as a Reflection of Reality for Inner City Youth

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Date Issued:
2011
Abstract/Description:
Rap is an extremely popular form of modern music that is notorious for incorporating themes of guns and violence into the lyrics. Early rap was mainly party or dance music until the mid-80s when structural shifts in social conditions brought feelings of hopelessness and frustration into black inner city communities and youth culture. These feelings now find expression in rap lyrics. This thesis uses rap lyrics as qualitative data to understand the plight of urban black youth. Rap music can be seen as a form of resistance for young African Americans who have historically never had such a medium to express their lived experiences and frustrations with society. The rap performance becomes a stage where the powerless become powerful by using the microphone as a symbolic AK-47 and words as weapons in the form of symbolic hollow point cartridges. This Thesis examines the contemporary African American experience, its reflection in the lyrics of rap music, and its fascination with guns, violence and death. A key theme is while rap lyrics sometimes seem radical and frightening to the mainstream, they often express lines of analysis and understanding that have been widely discussed in conventional sociological literature.
Title: We Live This Shit: Rap as a Reflection of Reality for Inner City Youth.
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Name(s): Patel, Parag, Author
Wright, James, Committee Chair
Carter, Shannon, Committee Member
Carter, James, Committee Member
, Committee Member
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2011
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Rap is an extremely popular form of modern music that is notorious for incorporating themes of guns and violence into the lyrics. Early rap was mainly party or dance music until the mid-80s when structural shifts in social conditions brought feelings of hopelessness and frustration into black inner city communities and youth culture. These feelings now find expression in rap lyrics. This thesis uses rap lyrics as qualitative data to understand the plight of urban black youth. Rap music can be seen as a form of resistance for young African Americans who have historically never had such a medium to express their lived experiences and frustrations with society. The rap performance becomes a stage where the powerless become powerful by using the microphone as a symbolic AK-47 and words as weapons in the form of symbolic hollow point cartridges. This Thesis examines the contemporary African American experience, its reflection in the lyrics of rap music, and its fascination with guns, violence and death. A key theme is while rap lyrics sometimes seem radical and frightening to the mainstream, they often express lines of analysis and understanding that have been widely discussed in conventional sociological literature.
Identifier: CFE0004151 (IID), ucf:49047 (fedora)
Note(s): 2011-12-01
M.A.
Sciences, Sociology
Masters
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): rap -- urban sociology -- guns -- violence -- drugs -- incarceration -- cultural production
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0004151
Restrictions on Access: public 2011-12-15
Host Institution: UCF

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