Write a 750 – 1000 word answer (three to four double-spaced typed pages) to the following question. Your answer must make reference to class readings and specific musical examples in addition to your own thoughts on the subject.
According to cultural theorists Robin Kelley (in The Vinyl Ain’t Final) and Tony Mitchell (in Global Noise), how has African American (US) based rap music incorporated elements of local cultures as it has spread around the world? Do you agree with Mitchell that rap has become a “vehicle for global youth affiliation” that provides a forum for global youth protest allowing rap artists to make “political statements about local racial, sexual, employment and class issues”? Or do you think that most global rap is just party / commercial music that reinforces the values associated with commercial US gangsta rap (violence, misogyny etc.)?
Choose a rapper or rap group who operates primarily outside the US. Review their history, and how they do or do not conform to the Kelley/Mitchell model. Choose one of their songs in particular to discuss. Be sure to analyze the lyrics (find or transcribe them, and use a web service to translate them into English), the music (underlying mix) and images if a video is available. Please include the lyrics as an appendix to your paper, and a link to YouTube or another site where the song you are analyzing can be seen / heard.
rubric / checklist
• do you agree with Kelley and Mitchell? Why or why not?
• refer to the readings (any you want), include a quote or two
• organize your ideas in clear paragraphs
• choose an artist (as an example that supports your argument)
• tell their history, briefly• choose one of their songs (make sure you can find the lyrics … try genius.com)
• translate the lyrics (try Google Translate)
• analyze / discuss the lyrics & music
• discuss the social functions, political messages (if any) of the song
• discuss how this song incorporates elements of its local culture
• give your own opinion of the song (optional)
• check your spelling, grammar, and sentence structure
• attach lyrics as an appendix at end of paper (not as part of 750-1000 words)