Musical borrowing in hip-hop music: theoretical frameworks and case studies

Williams, Justin A. (2010) Musical borrowing in hip-hop music: theoretical frameworks and case studies. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

PDF (PhD thesis)


'Musical borrowing in hip-hop' begins with a crucial premise: the hip-hop world, as an imagined community, regards unconcealed intertextuality as integral to the production and reception of its artistic culture. In other words, borrowing, in its multidimensional forms and manifestations, is central to the aesthetics of hip-hop. This study of borrowing in hip-hop music, which transcends narrow discourses on 'sampling' (digital sampling), illustrates the variety of ways that one can borrow from a source text or trope, and ways that audiences identify and respond to these practices. Another function of this thesis is to initiate a more nuanced discourse in hip-hop studies, to allow for the number of intertextual avenues travelled within hip-hop recordings, and to present academic frameworks with which to study them. The following five chapters provide case studies that prove that musical borrowing, part and parcel of hip-hop aesthetics, occurs on multiple planes and within myriad dimensions.

These case studies include borrowing from the internal past of the genre (Ch. 1), the use of jazz and its reception as an 'art music' within hip-hop (Ch. 2), borrowing and mixing intended for listening spaces such as the automobile (Ch. 3), sampling the voice of rap artists posthumously (Ch. 4), and sampling and borrowing as lineage within the gangsta rap subgenre (Ch. 5). By no means are the case studies intended to be exhaustive, but they provide examples which demonstrate that a thorough study of musical borrowing in hip-hop requires attention to the texts (hip-hop recordings), their reception, and wider cultural contexts.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Supervisors:Krims, A.P.
Faculties/Schools:UK Campuses > Faculty of Arts > School of Humanities
ID Code:1081
Deposited By:DR Justin A Williams
Deposited On:10 Sep 2010 15:30
Last Modified:10 Sep 2010 15:30

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