Hip-Hop Music in the Social Context of Cultural Studies

Thesis Statement

The great development of hip-hop music in the “cultural industry” (During, 4) is the reflection of socio-economic and cultural changes. The culture of African-American people and its reflection in the hip-hop music industry will be discussed in the research paper.


The issues of race and discrimination have always been rather important in multicultural communities. The African-Americans have experienced considerable discrimination in the form of racism, segregation, etc. Hip-hop music was the only outlet for their emotions and feelings in respect of the public attitude towards their race. Thus, this kind of music, besides its being a cultural phenomenon in itself, is the reflection of major social and even economic changes that took place over several last decades of the 20th century and in the early 21st century.

Thus, as far as “cultural studies is, of course, the study of culture, or, more particularly, the study of contemporary culture” (During, 1), the proposed topic is rather relevant to the matter of the study. Hip-hop music is one of the few examples of the phenomena when a form of art is able to be the manifestation of the world outlook and philosophy of life of a certain, in this case ethnic, group of people. Moreover, it demonstrates the social processes that accompany the cultural development of this music style and the ethnic group it belongs to, which makes this topic comprehensive and worth studying.


  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Background to the problem
  • Literature review
  • Research objectives and methodology
    • research questions;
    • research objectives;
    • methods of gathering and analyzing data.
  • Research findings
    • overview;
    • findings according to research questions.
  • Analysis
  • Conclusions
  • Works Cited

Annotated Preliminary Bibliography

Alridge, Derrick P. “From Civil Rights to Hip Hop: Toward a Nexus of Ideas.” The Journal of African American History 90.3 (2005): 226+.

The relevance of this source is evident because it depicts the political, economic and social roots of hip-hop music as a form of art and way of life: “Hip-hop emerged from the social, economic, and political experiences of black youth from the mid-to late 1970s.” (Aldridge, 226) The direct appeal to the topic of my further research makes this source one of the most reliable sources of information for it.

Alridge, Derrick P., and James B. Stewart. “Introduction: Hip Hop in History Past, Present, and Future.” The Journal of African American History 90.3 (2005): 190+.

This article is relevant to the topic of my research as it reflects the whole picture of hip-hop’s becoming a dominant phenomenon in the modern youth culture in the world. As a reflection of social, economic and political events, hip-hop is being considered in this article in detail which makes this paper of great value for my research.

During, Simon E. The Cultural Studies Reader, 3rd Edition. Routledge, 2007.

This book which is studied by us in class will be of great help for my further research. It is a textbook that provides the reader with the theoretical basis necessary for conducting research, as it discloses the essence of the discipline of cultural studies, its basic methodology and areas of interest. Thus, the book will be of great assistance in conducting my further research on hi-hop as a part of the contemporary music industry.

Hess, Mickey. “From Bricks to Billboards: Hip-Hop Autobiography.” Mosaic (Winnipeg) 39.1 (2006): 61+.

This article tells about the connection between the difficulties that hip-hop performers face in the music industry and their song lyrics. Through the context of personal lyrics, the author is trying to render the reality of the music industry and reflect the place taken by African-Americans in the white-dominated sphere. This source is relevant to the topic of my research as it depicts the hip-hop industry from the inside.

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