Synopses & Reviews
In this new paperback, Cheryl L. Keyes presents the first musicological history of rap, tracing the genre from its roots in West African bardic traditions, Jamaican dancehall, and African American vernacular expressions to its permeation of the cultural mainstream as a major tenet of the hip-hop lifestyle. According to Keyes, rap music is a forum that addresses the political and economic disfranchisement of black youths and other groups, fosters ethnic pride, and displays cultural values and aesthetics. By blending popular culture with folklore and ethnomusicology, Keyes offers a nuanced portrait of the artists, themes, and varying styles reflective of urban life and street consciousness, gathered from ethnographic research done in New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, and London. Keyes's vivid and wide-ranging analysis covers the emergence and personas of female rappers and white rappers, the legal repercussions of technological advancements such as electronic mixing and digital sampling, the advent of rap music videos, and the existence of gangsta rap, Southern rap, acid rap, and dance-centered rap subgenres.