Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America by Tricia Rose analyzes the lyrics, themes, storytelling, and cultures in rap music and delves into the cultural issues and debates that frame it. Tricia Rose is a hip-hop theorist who teaches African American Studies and History at New York University. Born and raised in New York City, she spent most of her childhood in Harlem and the Bronx. It was here where she was introduced to and fascinated by rap music. She went on to study sociology and American studies concerning herself with issues of race, politics, black popular music and black women issues. Her award-winning book Black Noise juxtaposes itself between the complexions and contradictions that rap music offers articulations of racial and sexual domination, black cultural priorities and popular resistance. Black Noise offers an in depth understanding of black rap music as a powerful forum by persuasively analyzing the significance and power behind lyrics, music videos and interviews while challenging the negative associations of rap music.
She breaks down her discussion into four ideas. The first chapter deals with rap’s position in a marginalized society and rap as a cultural production. She argues, “Rap music is a black cultural expression that prioritizes black voices form the margins of urban America” (3). Rap music allows the marginalized black voices to speak and for others to hear. It is a form of storytelling. They can bring up social and c...
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... The lengthy chapter looks at the creative ways in which female rappers address sexism and racism inequalities and how they creatively respond to male rappers. The use of variety of lyrics and rappers assert the ideas that rap serves as a platform for major social issues, not just for a male dominated society.
Black Noise analyzes ways in which rap music is not just “noise” but rather a powerful form of music and is complex in its meanings, history, and associations. Rose challenges the negative associations to rap music by analyzing the modes in which rap music conveys meaning the cultural significance of rap. Overall, Black Noise makes a compelling argument that rap music is not just noise but instead serves as a cultural forum, or platform, to which social and cultural issues within urban American can be discussed, addressed, and highlighted cross-culturally.
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