Dissertation Index



Author: Williams, Justin A

Title: Musical Borrowing in Hip-hop Music: Theoretical Frameworks and Case Studies

Institution: University of Nottingham

Begun: September 2006

Completed: September 2009

Abstract:

‘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 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.

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.


Keywords: hip-hop, rap, musical borrowing, Dr. Dre, automobility, postmortem borrowing, intertextuality, lineage

TOC:


INTRODUCTION 1

CHAPTER 1 36
Historicizing the Breakbeat: Hip-hop’s Origins and Authenticity

CHAPTER 2 88
The Construction of Jazz Rap as High Art in Hip-Hop Music

CHAPTER 3 142
Dr. Dre’s ‘Jeep Beats’ and Musical Borrowing for the Automotive Space

CHAPTER 4 192
The Martyr Industry:
Tupac Shakur, The Notorious B.I.G. and Postmortem Borrowing

CHAPTER 5 244
Borrowing and Lineage in Eminem/2Pac’s Loyal to the Game (2004)and 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Trying (2003)

CONCLUSION 277

BIBLIOGRAPHY, DISCOGRAPHY, FILMOGRAPHY 282

CD EXAMPLES 303


Contact:

Justin Williams, 59 Tonnelier Road, Nottingham NG7 2RW
Phone: 011 (+44) 7891372555
[Apologies if I have already submitted this. I can't remember if I did, so I thought I'd send it again to be sure. My external examiner on the PhD, Tim Hughes, suggested I put this information up on MTO]

Date Listed: 01/16/2010


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