Rap and Religion: Understanding the Gangsta’s God (Praeger; June 2012; $37) tackles a sensitive and controversial topic: the juxtaposition—and seeming hypocrisy—of references to God within rap music. Hip hop culture and rap music in particular have been condemned for inciting violence, promoting misogyny, and perpetuating racial stereotypes. However, Dr. Ebony A. Utley argues that religion has always been an integral part of the complex urban environments that birthed rap music. She asserts that a God-sanctioned gangsta identity empowers many youth facing declining economic opportunities. Dr. Utley sources lyrics, videos, award acceptance speeches, magazine andwebsite content, liner notes, and survey data to provide an enlightening, representative account of how and why rappers talk about God.
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About the author:
Ebony A. Utley, Ph.D. is an expert in popular culture, race, and romantic relationships. Her book, Rap and Religion: Understanding…
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