Introduction: Started from the Bottom…

  • Matthew OwareEmail author


Oware introduces the topic of rap through the lens of the 2016 presidential election in the United States. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton spark a new wave of politicization in rap music. Using the election as a backdrop, Oware provides an overview of the key components of hip hop culture—breakdancing, graffiti writing, and rapping—turning an eye towards three figures who frame the topical areas within the monograph: Afrika Bambaataa, Sylvia Robinson, and Roxanne Shanté. Bambaataa politicizes the music through his creation of the Zulu Nation. Sylvia Robinson commodifies the art form. Finally, Roxanne Shanté expresses a female subjectivity replicated by contemporary women rappers. These individuals provide the foundation for a genre that tackles gendered norms, racialized inequality, and social change in the United States.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SociologyDePauw UniversityGreencastleUSA

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