My City, My ‘Hood, My Street: Ghetto Spaces in American Hip-Hop Music

Lidia Kniaź

Abstract


As a subculture created by black and Latino men and women in the late 1970s in the United States, hip-hop from the very beginning was closely related to urban environment. Undoubtedly, space has various functions in hip-hop music, among which its potential to express the group identity seems to be of the utmost importance. The goal of this paper is to examine selected rap lyrics which are rooted in the urban landscape: “N.Y. State of Mind” by Nas, “H.O.O.D” by Masta Ace, and “Street Struck,” in order to elaborate on the significance of space in hip-hop music. Interestingly, spaces such as the city as a whole, a neighborhood, and a particular street or even block which are referred to in the rap lyrics mentioned above express one and the same broader category of urban environment, thus, words connected to urban spaces are often employed interchangeably.

 


Keywords


hip-hop, space, urbanscape

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17951/nh.2017.2.114
Data publikacji: 2017-08-17 12:08:50
Data złożenia artykułu: 2017-08-17 11:54:05

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