Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America

Front Cover
Wesleyan University Press, Apr 24, 1994 - Music - 257 pages
18 Reviews
From its beginnings in hip hop culture, the dense rhythms and aggressive lyrics of rap music have made it a provocative fixture on the American cultural landscape. In Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America, Tricia Rose, described by the New York Times as a "hip hop theorist," takes a comprehensive look at the lyrics, music, cultures, themes, and styles of this highly rhythmic, rhymed storytelling and grapples with the most salient issues and debates that surround it.

Assistant Professor of Africana Studies and History at New York University, Tricia Rose sorts through rap's multiple voices by exploring its underlying urban cultural politics, particularly the influential New York City rap scene, and discusses rap as a unique musical form in which traditional African-based oral traditions fuse with cutting-edge music technologies. Next she takes up rap's racial politics, its sharp criticisms of the police and the government, and the responses of those institutions. Finally, she explores the complex sexual politics of rap, including questions of misogyny, sexual domination, and female rappers' critiques of men.

But these debates do not overshadow rappers' own words and thoughts. Rose also closely examines the lyrics and videos for songs by artists such as Public Enemy, KRS-One, Salt N' Pepa, MC Lyte, and L. L. Cool J. and draws on candid interviews with Queen Latifah, music producer Eric "Vietnam" Sadler, dancer Crazy Legs, and others to paint the full range of rap's political and aesthetic spectrum. In the end, Rose observes, rap music remains a vibrant force with its own aesthetic, "a noisy and powerful element of contemporary American popular culture which continues to draw a great deal of attention to itself."

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
10
4 stars
3
3 stars
3
2 stars
1
1 star
1

Review: Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America (Music & Culture)

User Review  - Caitlin - Goodreads

Available now on Kindle as well! http://www.amazon.com/Black-Noise-Cul... Read full review

Review: Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America (Music & Culture)

User Review  - h - Goodreads

Clear, concise, and still relevant. Rose packs a lot into this seminal work. Read full review

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1994)

TRICIA ROSE is a professor of Africana Studies at Brown University and author of numerous articles on black culture, rap music, and contemporary popular culture.

Bibliographic information