Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Committee Chair

Rieger, Jon Hill


Rap (Music)--History and criticism; Music trade--United States


This thesis is a historical analysis of the narratives of rap music and their relationship to hegemony. I view the trends outlined in this thesis as a microcosm of large-scale social trends in the world of popular culture. A world dominated and distributed by a small collection of huge media conglomerates. The central questions of this thesis are "has rap music's relationship to hegemony changed?" and if so, "how has it changed?" After collecting my data using random sampling techniques and analyzing it utilizing verifiable statistical tests, I answer these two questions. The evidence supports the conclusion that rap music's relationship to hegemony has changed and this change is curvilinear, meaning that in the beginning (1984-1990) rap's counter-hegemonic value was low and this value grew in the middle years (1992-1998), only to fall to its lowest point in today's time, beginning at the start of the new millennium (2000-2004).