I’ll Probably Die with Promises: A Study of American Rap Artists in the Context of Black Lives Matter

Master’s Thesis Abstract

Christina Laura Wade, M.A.

Campbellsville University

Chairperson: Dr. Wesley Roberts

Rap in the United States is considered one of the radical genres in the last half century. This thesis gives a brief historic background of Rap, its relationship to Hip Hop and to Black Lives Matter with biographical information about selected Rap artists. An introduction to the history and styles of Rap are described. The study examines the lives of the most significant artists in the United States and their consequential influence or involvement in Black Lives Matter. Rappers are presented with a brief biography and a summarization and succinct description of lyrics from select songs. The research also includes multiple subgenres of Rap as well as the methodology that these artists use to create their signature beat and rhyme. A conclusion and a bibliography complete the study. The title of the thesis was inspired by lyrics from rapper Kenrick Lamar’s song, “Fear.”

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