Rap artists in the African-Nova Scotian community: "Speaking on my past, my present, and where I wanna be"
LE3 .A278 2015
Master of Arts
This thesis investigates the role of rap music in the African-Nova Scotian context by examining Black rap artists’ experiences growing up in various local communities and their views on the contemporary rap scene. This study also provides an understanding of racial, gender and class dimensions of the rap subculture, and how Black participants view their music and experiences. There is an absence of scholarly attention paid to African-Nova Scotian culture and the contemporary rap scene; this study combines the two topics. This study provides a basis for further research on African-Nova Scotian rap music and the contemporary Nova Scotian rap scene. The sample consists of six participants who are a part of the African Nova Scotian community; there is an equal representation of female and male participants. A qualitative semi-structured interview research method was utilized, which took place between April 2014 and December 2014. The findings of this study indicate that participants use rap as a means of creative self-expression that is influenced by their life narratives and community experiences. Experiences of participants in the Nova Scotia rap scene are diverse. There is a consensus that the scene is fragmented and there is a desire for a collective movement. Women are marginalized in the scene. They experience challenges as artists that their male counterparts do not; such as, an emphasis on appearance over artistry, and unhealthy competition with other female rappers. The majority of participants do not view race as a significant component of the music, while others critically contemplate its role. Class is viewed as an important aspect in regard to the financial costs of producing music, and offering different perspectives to the music.
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