Politics in Rap Lyrics: A Corpus Study

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Politics in Rap Lyrics: A Corpus Study

Type: Bachelor thesis
Title: Politics in Rap Lyrics: A Corpus Study
Author: Kam, Tim de
Issue Date: 2019-01-31
Keywords: Corpus linguistics
rap lyrics
Abstract: Although rap has seen a lot of criticism for its aggressive content, vulgar language, and questionable icons, it has also gained praise for its poetic nature. The praise comes not only from its core audience, but also from scholars and literary connoisseurs. In recent years more and more research has been done in this field and this thesis also has rap lyrics as its main focus. The main themes in rap studies are birthed from and aimed at the negative aspects of rap lyrics, including; racism, sexism, and aggression. However, as one of the people who sees rap as an expression of creativity and wit, I will focus on a more positive end of the broad rap spectrum. Because I experience a lot of political subjects in recent popular rap songs, I decided I wanted to find out whether rap lyrics contain more political themes than other genres. This thesis will take a quantitative approach to the matter at hand by using a large rap lyrics corpus as its main focus. Through corpus linguistics methodology and with the help of corpus analysis software I aim to provide empirical evidence for the political content of rap lyrics. Using a broader lyrical genre to compare the rap genre to I will show that rap is not only assumed to be political because of its origin, but proved to be so.
Supervisor: Fonteyn, Lauren
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Department: Engelse Taal en Cultuur (Bachelor)
ECTS Credits: 10
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/69149

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