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Rap music, according to Keyes, 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. 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.
In addition to penetrating discussions of rap's historically central figures, Keyes's vivid and wide-ranging analysis also covers the emergence and personas of female rappers and white rappers, the legal repercussions of advancements such as electronic mixing and digital sampling, the advent of rap music videos, and the existence of various rap subgenres. Also considered are the crossover careers of rap artists in movies and television; rapper-turned-mogul phenomena such as Queen Latifah and Sean "P. Diddy" Combs; the role of rap music as a political platform for AIDS awareness; East Coast versus West Coast tensions; and the unification efforts of the Nation of Islam and the Hip-Hop Nation.
|Pt. 1||The sociocultural history and aesthetics of rap music|
|1||The roots and stylistic foundation of the rap music tradition||17|
|2||The development of the rap music tradition||39|
|3||The explosion of rap music in the musical mainstream||67|
|4||Expanding frontiers : rap music, 1990-2000||104|
|5||Street production : the aesthetics of style and performance in the rap music tradition||122|
|Pt. 2||The critical perspectives of rap music and the hip-hop nation|
|6||Issues, conflicts, and conspiracies : the hip-hop nation at a crossroad||157|
|7||Daughters of the blues : women, race, and class representation in rap music performance||186|
|8||Visualizing beats and rhymes||210|