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Rap and Modern Love: The Expression of Intimate Masculinity in Mainstream Rap


Rap and Modern Love: The Expression of Intimate Masculinity in Mainstream Rap

Dei-Sharpe, Jamilah (2019) Rap and Modern Love: The Expression of Intimate Masculinity in Mainstream Rap. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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To enliven inquiry into the intimate lives of black men I conducted a qualitative, thematic analysis of the non-hypermasculine expressions of black men toward women in mainstream rap songs. The hypermasculine black man, often construed as hypersexual, aggressive, violent and misogynistic, fuels the multibillion-dollar hip-hop industry (Boyd 2002, 2004; Jeffries 2011), leading some scholars to disparage hip-hop for demeaning black men and inciting youth deviance (Forman 2013; Malton 2010). Informed by a critical reading of Hip-Hop Studies, the Critical Studies of Men and Masculinities (CSMM) and Modern Love Studies, I argue that the association of black men with hypermasculinity has its roots in longstanding race and gender prejudices (hooks 1992, 2004; Wallace 1978). In addition, I argue that this prejudice is actively – albeit inadvertently - maintained in the CSMM, much of which employs Raewyn Connell’s (1987, 1995, 2005) hegemonic masculinity theory (HMT) and which represents black men as inherently marginalized as they strive to attain the social status of powerful white men. To broaden the scope of these representations, I conducted a thematic analysis of mainstream rap songs (N=22) by black male rappers to explore the question: How do black male rap artists use non-hypermasculine expressive strategies to articulate their relationships with women? The directed and derived analysis results show that 60% of the songs displayed non-hypermasculine expressions including, admiration, heartbreak, infatuation, love, suicidal ideations and vulnerabilities. Considering my findings, I coined the concept of Intimate Masculinity that I argue, can serve as a working framework to investigate and signify the emotional diversity of black men.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Sociology and Anthropology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Dei-Sharpe, Jamilah
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Date:March 2019
Thesis Supervisor(s):Lafrance, Marc
Keywords:rap music, black masculinity, hypermasculinity, intimate masculinity, heterosexual relationships
ID Code:985160
Deposited By: Jamilah Dei-Sharpe
Deposited On:17 Jun 2019 18:38
Last Modified:17 Jun 2019 18:38


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