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African American Music Industry Research Papers

This is research paper topic on the African American Music Industry and its key figures. A complete time line from the creation of Motown to will be discussed. Custom term papers on the African American Music are Paper Masters specialty. The thesis statement and African American Music Industry you see here is just a SAMPLE term paper of what we can provide you in research. Papers are always original and we guarantee each research paper, essay, book report or term paper that is sold by Paper Masters will never be resold and is plagiarism-free.

African American Music Industry Term Paper from Paper Masters

Compose a term paper on the history and development of the African American Music Industry, tracing its development in one of the following ways:African American Music Industry

  1. From the Motown to present day
  2. Traverse through its key figures (Berry Gordy..ect) front and behind the scenes
  3. Examine social issues raised ( e.g Racism and treatment of women), either through lyrics or imagery. 
  4. Do a special comparative case study on something like Ray Charles’ “I Gotta Woman” and Kanye Wests’ “Gold Digger”
  5. Examine the culture of rap music. Rappers repeatedly talk about using their hip-hop talents to try to get a slice of Uncle Sam’s pie, revealing both their economic aspirations and their nonmaterial means of achieving it.
  6. Explore the emphasis on cultural capital is multi-faceted and is something you should return to throughout your African American Music Industry research paper; however there are several components that require explanation here.

For one, a rapper must have real skills and be supported by the larger hip-hop community.  Unskilled commercial hits have no longevity, and thus no means for ongoing economic survival (i.e. MC Hammer recently declared bankruptcy). Lyrics constantly boast of having talent, not just money, indicating that one’s success is the result of natural skills and cannot be lost in market moods. What is more, this cultural capital is not just an alternative to economic capital, but most often works in direct opposition to it. As I explained above, there is a widespread cultural perception of authenticity in poverty and those not born in it are under suspicion. Hip-hop’s logic of cultural capital leading to economic capital privileges those born in the inner city because it benefits the unprivileged and excludes the otherwise advantaged.

Rap and Hip-Hop music has become to the 80’s and 90’s what Rock music was to the 50’s and 70’s.  The culture of Black American “gansta rap” is emerging as a viable force in a capitalistic society that plays on youth.  An entire new apparel industry was introduced in the 90’s when gansta rap bled into white American culture by ways of schools and impressionable youth.  Middle American elementary schools begun banning clothing that propitiated the ideals of gangs that were found in cities hundreds of miles away.

The explosion in rap exposure caused by the gangster rap controversy spurred a rise in rap sales. It brought to light artists from true hip-hop backgrounds, like A Tribe Called Quest and DAS-EFX, who spoke of social change and the problems of urban black youths. But when gangster rap went out of vogue these artists could not sustain their appeal. They have been replaced by dance-friendly, innocuous music.

One example is the Fugees, whose 1996 album “The Score” went platinum. The album shifted from harsh gangster lyrics to a more mainstream, musically oriented form. Few listeners know the Fugees’ first album, “Blunted on Reality.” It was a rather hard-core album concerned with social issues, rom the plight of Haitian refugees to the problems of the black community. The album did not sell many copies. By giving up some of their politically oriented message, the Fugees became hits.

In “Niggaz 4 Life”, NWA (Niggaz With Attitude) are asserting their connection to both the hardships of thestreet and their success in the studio.

“Why do I call myself a nigga, you ask me?
I guess it’s the way shit has to be.
Back when I was young, gettin’ a job was murder.
Fuck flippin’ burgers, ’cause I deserve a 9 to 5 I
can be proud of,
that I can speak proud of, and to help a nigga
get out of,  Yo! the concrete playground.
But most motherfuckers only want you to stay
down,
but I’m a smart motherfucker, you see;
One of the best paid producers in the rap music industry.
Gettin’ paid like a motherfucker,
A young brother who don’t give a fuck about
another…
In the meanwhile my pockets are gettin’ fat,
Gettin’ paid to say this shit here,
Makin’ more in a week than a doctor makes in a
year…
I get it from the underground poet,
I live it, I see it, and I write it, because I know it”

The repeated opening line “Why do I call myself a nigga, you ask me?” is answered as if the listener personally asked about rap’s contradictory logic of both praising capitalism and referring to oneself as an historically-derogatory term while they simultaneously critique America’s history of classism and racism. Their rap answers by explaining why and how an “underground poet” would invert the capitalist logic just as they invert the term “nigger” into empowerment. This also points out essentialist elements of this poverty = authenticity equation which connect blackness to the inner-city.

The previously mentioned Tupac Shukur’s mother was formerly a member of the Black Panther Party, known in the 70’s for its call to black America for self-defense and solidarity.  Tupac was born in prison after his mother was arrested for bombing a public building in New York City.  His roots of black militancy therefore, run deep.

Rappers are some of the most prominent voices in black culture to dismiss richer African-Americans as being “Oreos” or “Uncle Toms”, and in doing so, propagate an ideology in which the more oppressed one is, the “blacker” he/she is.
Within hip-hop, there are plenty of rappers that criticize both the glamorization of wealth and the reductionism of blackness to the inner-city, and even the rappers who use these ideas will critique this logic in their lyrics, but these authenticity dynamics still carry considerable weight in hip-hop hierarchies.

So how do these seemingly contradictory forces in hip-hop reconcile themselves? Clues to these conflicting views of money can be found by examining their different applications relative to American capitalist ideology. Simply put, the American Dream is taking what you have and making it big. This logic is evident in most rap lyrics, except with a twist. Since many inner-city blacks do not have economic capital to invest in any entrepreneurial ventures, they instead exploit what they do have: cultural capital.

 

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