The Musical Artistry of Rap


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About the Book

For years Rap artists have met with mixed reception—acclaimed by fans yet largely overlooked by scholars. Focusing on 135 tracks from 56 artists, this survey appraises the artistry of the genre with updates to the traditional methods and measures of musicology. Rap synthesizes rhythmic vocals with complex beats, intonational systems, song structures, orchestration and instrumentalism. The author advances a rethinking of musical notation and challenges the conventional understanding of Rap through analysis of such artists as Eminem, Kanye West and Jean Grae.

Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Martin E. Connor is a leading musicological expert and journalist on rap music who has contributed interviews, research materials, voiceovers, and articles to Harvard University and the University of Colorado, and has written for HipHopDX, Complex, The Source and BET. He lives in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania.

Bibliographic Details

Martin E. Connor
Foreword by Kyle Adams; Afterword by Ilan Zechory

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 227
Bibliographic Info: 69 illustrations, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9898-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3043-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments  vi
Foreword by Kyle Adams  1
Introduction  3
1. Rhythm  11
2. Melody  64
3. Motivic Development  78
4. Structure and Performance Practice  108
5. Texture and Orchestration  144
6. Instrumentalism  166
7. Masters of the Form  176
Epilogue  195
Afterword by Ilan Zechory  197
Appendix: Songs Analyzed  199
Chapter Notes  202
Bibliography  205
Index  209