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, the University of Colorado, and has written for HipHopDX, Complex, The Source and BET. He lives in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Bibliographic Details

Martin E. Connor
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: photos, 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