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folk e 295 focus on hardcore rap today and social movements

The BlackLivesMatter movement and its partners are shaping a new dialogue and invigorated activism for equal rights in the 21st century. #BlackLivesMatter was born online after the not-guilty verdict in the killing of Trayvon Martin and moved to the streets after the killing of Michael Brown, it has since become and international movement (no hashtag) allied with other groups and a rallying cry for social justice. For this assignment, you will examine hip hop spaces and write your essay based on how a specific song represents the complex and varied ways that rap artists have addressed social inequality in the United States 25 years after conscious rap and g-style narratives from pioneering artists (ca. 1984-1996) like Public Enemy, KRS-One, N.W.A., Ice-T, 2pac, Paris, Geto Boys, Queen Latifah, TLC, Lauryn Hill, De La Soul. Don’t just list circumstances. Try to connect links to the earlier rap generation of the 1990s and then dig deep and analyze how these factors have successfully and positively influenced the objectives of social movements, or how some rap songs (lyrics, videos, music) have negatively influenced the objectives of social movements. Race has always been a part of the ways we discuss hip hop music and often reflect the social structure of the United States. Discussing issues of diversity in the U.S. is a concern of this University and Hip Hop culture studies. This assignment offers students an opportunity to tackle current challenges our country faces.

Key Terms and Concepts to consider in your essay: Diversity in the U.S., Social Movements and Protests through the arts/music of hip hop culture, Feminisms, Racisms, Sexisms, Hardcore Rap styles of the 1980s and 1990s, Hardcore Rap styles of the 2010s, #Black Lives Matter.

To help you get started and to provide insight on how hip hop can inform rapper’s “ambivalent” participation in the movement, you will read about the history of the most recent movement by one of the co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement. Activist Alicia Garza challenges not only forces us to consider all of the black bodies (plural) that are affected by anti-black racism, it also means considering black space as a conceptual site of social protest. Dr. Shonekan’s TED talk can help frame the attempt to understand a worldview and experience that might not match our own.

Please note that the Black Lives Matter movement is one part of the fact that all lives matter. Since our focus is on rap music, draw on songs and lyrics from rap music to support your argument.

Part 1: Background Research

Read the following and use to support your argument and watch Dr. Shonekan’s TED talk to consider our differing worldviews and experiences:

  1. (Required) Garza, Alicia. “A Herstory of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement.” The Feminist Wire, October 7, 2014. Web. (Links to an external site.)
  2. (Required) The Movement For Black Lives. “Platform.” (Links to an external site.)
  3. (Required) carefully selected chapters from your textbook (ch.7-10)
  4. (Required viewing for perspective only) Shonekan, Stephanie. “SPF, WTF? A Surprising Metaphor For Race And Privilege [TEDxKC].” Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 1 September 2013. Web. (Links to an external site.)(Links to an external site.)

  1. (Recommended but not required) Any relevant scholarly research articles from or EBSCO
    • a scholarly work refers to one that is peer reviewed (not Wiki or similar websites).

Part 2: Topic Choice

  1. Choose a topic from one of the 4 columns below that you will use for your assignment. Explain how these artists under the topic you have chosen address social inequality in their work (sorry for the weird formatting. It’s a Canvas quirk I’ll try to fix):
    Rap as Protest Music: Innercity Strife and Conflict Today: Women as Object and Subject in contemporary Hip Hop: Challenging notions of Gender & LGBTQ+
    The Game “Don’t Shoot” (2015) featuring Diddy, Rick Ross, 2 Chainz, Diddy, Fabolous, Wale, DJ Khaled, Swizz Beatz, ETC.)J. Cole “Be Free” (2014)Kendrick Lamar“Alright” (2015) Consider the works of Black Hippy artistsJoe Budden “Freedom Freestyle” (2016)Or your choice Chicago Drill Rap: Rico Nasty “Rage” (2018) Lil Herb “‘Fight or Flight’ (2014) Remix with Common & Chance the RapperKendrick Lamar “Alright” (2015)Jasir X: New Nat Turners” (2013)Or your choice Cardi B “Bodak Yellow” (2017)Young Ma “Eat”
    (2016)”Q.U.E.E.N.” Janelle Monáe featuring Erykah Badu (2013)Noname “Samaritan” (2013)Angel Haze “Cleaning Out My Closet” (2012).Or your choice
    Michael Blume “Lifting You” (2018)Mykki Blanco “Wavvy” (2012)Le1f “Wut” (2012)THEEsatisfaction “Deeper” (2012)Big Freedia and “sissy” bounce artistsOr your choice

Part 3: Write-Up

  1. In one paragraph, set your tone and inform your reader that you are about to address the complex and inconsistent ways that rap artists have addressed social inequality in the United States 25 years after artists like Public Enemy, KRS-One, N.W.A., Ice-T, 2pac, Paris, Geto Boys, Queen Latifah, TLC, Lauryn Hill, and De La Soul addressed the issue through their conscious rap/G-style narratives. Can you do it in an interesting way to draw a reader to continue reading your work? (0-5 points)

Required elements:

  • Example: Focus on why it is necessary to address definitions. Or, you could choose to explain how key terms have been used. Or, you could provide a brief socio-historical analysis of golden era Hard Core hip hop culture.
  • Introduction: What background information does your reader need to know in order to understand your argument (not just a claim)?
  • Frame your argument with the past (social, historical, cultural elements) in order to explain the present [E.g. you are interested in violence and women: start with Eve’s “Love is Blind” (1999) and bring in Angel Haze (2012)].

Your last sentence should be your argument.

  1. In following 2-3 paragraphs, introduce your evidence to prove your argument. NOTE: Your opinion alone is not sufficient. Draw on the sources listed above (at minimum, one contemporary song) to help support your argument and draw on the data from the URL link, your textbook, and/or you may draw on other academically sound materials and include that source in your WORKS CITED page. (0-10 points)

The following must be included in your analysis:

  • A lyrical analysis of the hip hop song(s) you selected
  • Definition of the style if more modern [e.g. Drill Rap is a regional, hardcore thug-rap style from Chicago that grew from the extreme gangsta rap (horror-core rap) of the 1990s like…].
  • Sound analysis of the song(s) (while this might be difficult, it is necessary; be as descriptive and analytical as you can). This analysis should include concepts as samples choices, soundscapes, homages to past performers, linking to previous genres, etc.
  • How do the song(s) serve the lyrical messages: A good source is (Links to an external site.)
  • Discussion of the interactions between race and/or gender and music or race and/or gender and music-making

3. In the following paragraph, anticipate a counterargument or counterarguments to your ideas: What might a reader pose against your argument or your reasoning? This can be difficult difficult, but it is useful to anticipate an opposing point of view in order for you as a scholar to come back with a rebuttal. (0-5 points)

None of us are 100% unbiased. Acknowledge your own biases and how they might impact your argument. For example: I am an older fan, white male, and my only engagement with blacks in America are through music videos and streaming songs on my iPhone… OR … I am African American, female, and admit that I am frustrated with what is going on in my country, but am also frustrated that we in this country and Black Lives Matter movement members ignore how violence has impacted black females… OR … I was a victim of black-on-black violence in my old neighborhood, etc. End by re-establishing why your argument is more right than wrong. Double-check: Make sure your argument from your introduction (#1) is clear now that you have posited a counterargument.

  1. In the final paragraph, explain why it is important to be critical of the society we live in as well as people’s ideas and why a critical thinker like yourself has a duty to challenge authoritative voices. (0-5 points)

Include the following:

  • Revisit a definition of Diversity in the U.S.
  • Revisit how hip hop is part of the conversation.

Your write-up should be about 1,000 words total (only 10% more or less will be accepted without penalty; double-space; font 12). Concision is an important skill to learn. You will also include a works cited page (see NOTE 3 below).

Things to keep in mind:

Canvas & Turnitin cannot read PAGES documents. Microsoft Word document or PDF are best. Follow the guidelines. The strict guidelines, like everything in this particular class, are to help train students for the future in which employers will be testing prospective employees on their ability to follow instructions (which includes anticipating uploading problems and problem solving) as much as their ability to write original, rich and concise content. Anticipate problems with server or wifi connection, or getting sick, or… anticipate complications so that you aren’t THAT student (who eventually becomes THAT employee)

Final Notes Re: The Assignment

NOTE 1: When a text is quoted, or paraphrased, you must cite the page number parenthetically. For example:

According to Keyes, the concept of rapping in hip hop can be traced from “African bardic traditions to black oral expressive forms of the South” (2002:39), implying that…

Make sure you use clear and poignant examples to support your argument(s). Best papers in an assignment this short will keep paraphrases and quotes to a minimum, but when citations are necessary, they must be cited correctly. Writing help? Take a look at MLA Style Guide online: (Links to an external site.)

NOTE 2: Good writing is important. UNDISCLOSED POINT DEDUCTION for papers that have not been proofread. Use spellcheck and grammar check and/or go to the writing tutorial services on campus: (Links to an external site.)

NOTE 3: While we provide the sources for this assignment it is good practice to demonstrate the you know how to cite your sources properly. If you use an outside source (lyrics from, a quote from the film Style Wars, etc.), you must include it in your work cited page. Need help with Works Cited page? Take a look at MLA Style Guide online: (Links to an external site.)/

Include a Works Cited page. UNDISCLOSED POINT DEDUCTION if not included. Your Works Cited Page will begin to look like the following (note Canvas distorts in Safari and Explorer–take a look at the reference pages in your textbook for a model):

Garza, Alicia. “A Herstory of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement.” The Feminist Wire, October 7, 2014.Web. Accessed 10/14/ 2015.

Orejuela, F. “Chapter 7: Hardcore: ‘Message Rap’ and ‘Gangsta Rap.’” Rap and Hip Hop Culture. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015. 107-134. Print.

NOTE 4: Anticipate problems with server or Wi-Fi connection or any of life’s unexpected events. There is a generous window period to get this short assignment accomplished. Get your work done early. I recommend submitting as early as possible so that you can check your Canvas folder and see your document and date of submission. No Excuses!!!
*How do I submit a Turnitin assignment? (Links to an external site.)
Step 6 at the following link shows how to download a digital receipt. (Links to an external site.)

NOTE 5: Emails sent to the GAs or me with your paper attached or a screen capture of the date you completed the essay but did not submit it will be deleted.

NOTE 6: GAs will post grades 2 weeks from the second deadline.

NOTE 7: E-mails, like the following are not acceptable: “I know you have a strict deadline policy that includes a late date option with penalty and that this policy is to train students to commit to meet deadlines in the workforce or a grad program after graduation, but the rules should not apply to me because…” The rules apply to everyone equally. You have a TO DO list reminder and a calendar of due dates in Canvas every time you log on. Be responsible now and that work ethic will follow you in the future. You know what to do. .

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