Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Angela M. Nelson on Rap, Percussion, and Theology

From LawRhetoricandDebate.org

Angela M. Nelson (Bowling Green State University – Department of Popular Culture) has published “Put Your Hands Together”: The Theological Meaning of Percussion and Percussiveness in Rap Music (Americana: The Journal of American Popular Culture (1900 to the present), Vol. 10, No. 1, Spring 2011). Here is a sample:

A framework for studying rap music is related to the social and artistic textures of African-American popular culture. These textures are best understood through the concept of repertoire (Hall 289) and relate to the aesthetic beliefs and values of Africana people. Rap music is a product of popular culture that is drawn from an African-American cultural repertoire, which consists of the specific devices, techniques, ideologies, expressive art forms, or products of people of Africana descent that influence part of their culture (whether as context, texture, or text). Often derived from the folk tradition (see Soitos 37) and dominant culture, these components form a foundation of a black aesthetic and are used to create black popular cultural products. Religion, theology, and spirituality as they relate to beliefs and values lie within the social textures of rap music. Rhythm, percussiveness, and call-response lie within the artistic textures, or cultural repertoire, of rap music as well.

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