Synopses & Reviews
Rap music is often seen as a Black secular response to pressing issues of our time. Yet, like spirituals, the blues, and gospel music, rap has deep connections to African American religious traditions.
Noise and Spirit explores the diverse religious dimensions of rap stemming from Islam (including the Nation of Islam and Five Percent Nation), Rastafarianism, and Humanism, as well as Christianity. The volume examines raps dialogue with religious traditions, from the ways in which Islamic rap music is used as a method of religious and political instruction to the uses of both the blues and Black womens rap for considering the distinction between God and the Devil.
The first section explores raps association with more easily recognizable religious traditions and communities such as Christianity and Islam. The next presents discussions of rap and important spiritual considerations, including on the topic of death. The final unit wrestles with ways to theologize about the relationship between the sacred and the profane in rap.
Rap music is often seen as a Black secular response to pressing issues of our time.
About the Author
is Assistant Professor of Gender & Womens Studies and adjunct in International Studies at the University of Wyoming. Her books include Neon Wasteland: On Love, Motherhood, and Sex Work in a Rust Belt Town
Patty Kelly is Assistant Research Professor of Anthropology at George Washington University in Washington, DC. She is the author of Lydias Open Door: Inside Mexicos Most Modern Brothel.
Table of Contents
Introduction : Making a world with a beat : musical expression's relationship to religious identity and experience -- Rap and religious traditions. African American Christian rap : facing "truth" and resisting it / Garth Kasimu Baker-Fletcher. A jihad of words : the evolution of African American Islam and contemporary hip hop / Juan M. Floyd-Thomas. Rap, reggae, and religion : sounds of cultural dissonance / Noel Leo Erskine. "Handlin' my business" : exploring rap's humanist sensibilities / Anthony B. Pinn -- Rap and issues of "spirit" and "spirituality." Bringing noise, conjuring spirit : rap as spiritual practice / Mark Lewis Taylor. Rap as wrap and rapture : North American popular culture and the denial of death / James W. Perkinson. The spirit is willing and so is the flesh : the queen in hip hop culture / Leola A. Johnson -- Rap and the art of "theologizing." The rub : markets, morals, and the "theologizing" of music / William C. Banfield. Rap, religion, and new realities : the emergence of a religious discourse in rap music / Ralph C. Watkins.