Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics

in Thug Life

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780226395845
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226395869 | DOI:
Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics

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This chapter addresses three issues that consistently provoke episodes of moral panic about the explicit content in rap music: the place and treatment of women in hip-hop, use of the words nigger and nigga, and representations of gangsterism and criminality. Hip-hop culture was routinely criticized for sexist and antisocial themes and refrains. Despite the conflict and discursive multiplicity of commercial hip-hop, many of the most prominent gender discourses were quite troubling. The moral panic surrounding the n-word has a great deal to do with its power as a performative device that brings racial identity, authenticity, and racial inequality and racism into public focus. When discussing the link between hip-hop and criminal justice, respondents of all races foreground racial discrimination and inequality, and indicated that hip-hop is viewed as a racialized culture by criminal justice authorities and other public policemen of morality.

Keywords: rap music; nigger; nigga; gangsterism; criminality; moral panic; racial discrimination; authenticity; criminal justice

Chapter.  16051 words. 

Subjects: Popular Music

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