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JAMES HARRIS

The Digital Circulation and Appropriation of Black Culture in Amateur Rap Videos on YouTube
James Harris, Summer 2017

Director: Jennifer Maher
Committee Members: Lucille McCarthy and Craig Saper

There is a difference between listening to rap and participating in it. Since its creation, rap has been a black medium used to advocate for black rights, criticize political situations, and bring awareness to African-American adversity. This thesis aims to explore the recent YouTube.com trend of successful white rappers and their deviation from traditional black values. It looks at the history of rap and how its use today differs from the MC’s of the past. An analysis of prominent YouTube rappers appears near the end in order to theorize the future of the rap genre.