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What do millennial rappers in the United States say in their music? This timely and compelling book answers this question by decoding the lyrics of over 700 songs from contemporary rap artists. Using innovative research techniques, Matthew Oware reveals how emcees perpetuate and challenge gendered and racialized constructions of masculinity, femininity, and sexuality. Male and female artists litter their rhymes with misogynistic and violent imagery. However, men also express a full range of emotions, from arrogance to vulnerability, conveying a more complex manhood than previously acknowledged. Women emphatically state their desires while embracing a more feminist approach. Even LGBTQ artists stake their claim and express their sexuality without fear. Finally, in the age of Black Lives Matter and the presidency of Donald J. Trump, emcees forcefully politicize their music. Although complicated and contradictory in many ways, rap remains a powerful medium for social commentary.
Includes a lyrical (content) analysis of recent rap music of men and women from 2005 to 2015. Analyzes commercial and underground/independent rap music in the United States. Discusses the emergence of queer emcees, the role of Black Lives Matter, and current politics.
Palgrave Macmillan Press
gender, race, femininity, sexuality, masculinity, rap music
School of Arts and Sciences
Gender and Sexuality | Race and Ethnicity | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology
Oware, Matthew. 2018. I Got Something to Say: Gender, Race, and Social Consciousness in Rap Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan Press.