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How the Financial Crisis Changed Hip-hop

  • Steven Gilbers
Chapter

Abstract

In the years leading up to the 2008 financial crisis, hip-hop appeared to celebrate financial success and material wealth. When the financial crisis arrived, however, public opinion on materialism changed drastically. This chapter investigates whether hip-hop became less materialistic following the crisis. Rap lyrics from before and after the crisis’s onset were qualitatively and quantitatively analyzed to assess their degree of materialism. Moreover, members of New York’s hip-hop community were interviewed to gauge their feelings toward materialism. It was found that rappers, reflecting the hip-hop community’s sentiments, became more critical of society’s materialism as well as their own.

Keywords

Activism Financial crisis Greed Hip-hop community Materialism Money New York City Occupy Wall Street Socio-political engagement Wall Street 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The study presented in this chapter was in part facilitated and financed by the University of Groningen Honours College under the supervision of Boudewijn de Bruin. An earlier version of the present study, which only discussed the interviews with New York City’s hip-hop community and the results of a less extensive qualitative analysis of rap lyrics’ materialism, was previously published in the Dutch popular science book Generatie Crisis: Verder kijken dan Occupy (‘Generation Crisis: Looking beyond Occupy Wall Street’; Hermans et al., 2012).

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven Gilbers
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands

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