Critical School, Capitalism, Rap, Hip Hop, Frankfurt School, Music, Theory
My paper questions the degree to which the hip hop subculture is oppositional to mainstream American society and its ideals. Toward that end, I examine the structure of the hip hop industry and its subculture. While the hip hop subculture in America consistently has projected images of rebellion and resistance to many of the mores, constraints and values of dominant society, the actual structure and organization of the hip hop subculture have mirrored, supported and promoted the values of the dominant culture in the United States. I begin by examining the structure of the main elements of the hip hop subculture: deejaying, breakdancing, emceeing and graffiti art, and the practices within each to demonstrate that the hip hop subculture has a structure which supports capitalistic practices. The interactions between hip hop industry participants, their fans, and the marketplace are an embracing of the values of mainstream American society and capitalism. From its inception, the structure of the hip hop subculture and the actions of the artists within the structure essentially has made hip hop music capitalism set to a beat.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Smith, Martin, "Rapitalism" (2006). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 747.