Let's get free : a soundtrack for revolution : a textual analysis of black power and counterhegemony in the debut rap album by Dead Prez
Durham, Aisha Shennette
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Twenty years ago, ghetto youth sent a S.O.S signal to the world through radio airwaves in a rap song called “The Message.” It was dawn of a new genre of rap that expressed a politicized consciousness of urban youth in hip-hop culture. It ushered in hip-hop nationalism. This work examines black power of hip-hop nationalism and counterhegemony in Dead Prez rap texts. I employ the concept of hegemony to discuss how Dead Prez use rap as a communicative tool to educate and empower marginalized youth in popular culture. Through a textual reading of spoken word on four rap tracks, I address ways in which the duo challenge white supremacy and capitalism, yet maintain masculinist constructions of black empowerment. Specifically, I address Afrocentric identity as the construction of class consciousness, anti-capitalism, and direct and indirect forms of oppression in the state and in civil society/popular culture.