Prophets of the Hood: Politics and Poetics in Hip Hop / Edition 1

Prophets of the Hood: Politics and Poetics in Hip Hop / Edition 1

by Imani Perry, Imani Perry, Perry
     
 

ISBN-10: 0822334461

ISBN-13: 9780822334460

Pub. Date: 11/30/2004

Publisher: Duke University Press Books

At once the most lucrative, popular, and culturally oppositional musical force in the United States, hip hop demands the kind of interpretation Imani Perry provides here: criticism engaged with this vibrant musical form on its own terms. A scholar and a fan, Perry considers the art, politics, and culture of hip hop through an analysis of song lyrics, the words

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Overview

At once the most lucrative, popular, and culturally oppositional musical force in the United States, hip hop demands the kind of interpretation Imani Perry provides here: criticism engaged with this vibrant musical form on its own terms. A scholar and a fan, Perry considers the art, politics, and culture of hip hop through an analysis of song lyrics, the words of the prophets of the hood. Recognizing prevailing characterizations of hip hop as a transnational musical form, Perry advances a powerful argument that hip hop is first and foremost black American music. At the same time, she contends that many studies have shortchanged the aesthetic value of rap by attributing its form and content primarily to socioeconomic factors. Her innovative analysis revels in the artistry of hip hop, revealing it as an art of innovation, not deprivation.

Perry offers detailed readings of the lyrics of many hip hop artists, including Ice Cube, Public Enemy, De La Soul, krs-One, OutKast, Sean “Puffy” Combs, Tupac Shakur, Lil’ Kim, Biggie Smalls, Nas, Method Man, and Lauryn Hill. She focuses on the cultural foundations of the music and on the form and narrative features of the songs—the call and response, the reliance on the break, the use of metaphor, and the recurring figures of the trickster and the outlaw. Perry also provides complex considerations of hip hop’s association with crime, violence, and misogyny. She shows that while its message may be disconcerting, rap often expresses brilliant insights about existence in a society mired in difficult racial and gender politics. Hip hop, she suggests, airs a much wider, more troubling range of black experience than was projected during the civil rights era. It provides a unique public space where the sacred and the profane impulses within African American culture unite.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822334460
Publisher:
Duke University Press Books
Publication date:
11/30/2004
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
248
Sales rank:
945,549
Product dimensions:
6.13(w) x 8.88(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

1Hip hop's mama : originalism and identity in the music9
2My mic sound nice : art, community, and consciousness38
3Stinging like Tabasco : structure and format in hip hop compositions58
4The glorious outlaw : hip hop narratives, American law, and the court of public opinion102
5B-boys, players, and preachers : reading masculinity117
6The Venus hip hop and the pink ghetto : negotiating spaces for women155
7Bling bling ... and going pop : consumerism and co-optation in hip hop191

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