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Nuthin' But a G Thang: The Culture and Commerce of Gangsta Rap

Nuthin' But a G Thang: The Culture and Commerce of Gangsta Rap

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Key Metrics

  • Eithne Quinn
  • Columbia University Press
  • Paperback
  • 9780231124096
  • 8.9 X 6 X 0.8 inches
  • 0.8 pounds
  • Music > Genres & Styles - Rap & Hip Hop
  • English
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Book Description

In the late 1980s, gangsta rap music emerged in urban America, giving voice to--and making money for--a social group widely considered to be in crisis: young, poor, black men. From its local origins, gangsta rap went on to flood the mainstream, generating enormous popularity and profits. Yet the highly charged lyrics, public battles, and hard, fast lifestyles that characterize the genre have incited the anger of many public figures and proponents of family values. Constantly engaging questions of black identity and race relations, poverty and wealth, gangsta rap represents one of the most profound influences on pop culture in the last thirty years.

Focusing on the artists Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, the Geto Boys, Snoop Dogg, and Tupac Shakur, Quinn explores the origins, development, and immense appeal of gangsta rap. Including detailed readings in urban geography, neoconservative politics, subcultural formations, black cultural debates, and music industry conditions, this book explains how and why this music genre emerged. In Nuthin'but a G Thang, Quinn argues that gangsta rap both reflected and reinforced the decline in black protest culture and the great rise in individualist and entrepreneurial thinking that took place in the U.S. after the 1970s. Uncovering gangsta rap's deep roots in black working-class expressive culture, she stresses the music's aesthetic pleasures and complexities that have often been ignored in critical accounts.

Nuthin' But a G Thang: The Culture and Commerce of Gangsta Rap

Author Bio

Eithne is the author of two books, Nuthin' but a G Thang: The Culture and Commerce of Gangsta Rap (Columbia University Press, 2005) and A Piece of the Action: Race and Labor in Post-Civil Rights Hollywood (Columbia University Press), which won the 2020 BAAS Book Prize.

She is Leadership Fellow on the Arts & Humanities Research Council project Prosecuting Rap: Criminal Justice and UK Black Youth Expressive Culture (2020-21).

Eithne has also published multiple peer reviewed articles in the areas of race, representation, cultural industries and justice and has been interviewed by the press and written several blogs. 

Research Interests 

My research concentrates on race politics in the cultural industries and criminal justice system since the mid-1960s in the US and UK, with a particular focus on black popular culture and white institutional and identity politics.

My most recent research project examined race politics in Hollywood since the 1960s, exploring Hollywood's heightened symbolic representation of race on screen and also the battles to reform and transform its production cultures behind the scenes in a period of profound reconfiguration. Monograph A Piece of the Action: Race and Labor in Post-Civil Rights Hollywood (Columbia University Press, Jan. 2020) and articles in Journal of American History, Screen, Popular Communication, Velvet Light Trap and Cinema Journal. This work has been supported by a Leverhulme Trust Fellowship and an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) small grant.

Another central research focus is hip hop studies. My previous book Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang: The Culture and Commerce of Gangsta Rap (Columbia University Press) looked at the vernacular histories, commercial contexts, and social significance of gangsta rap in the 1980s and 1990s. I developed my long-term interest in rap music in the age of inequality with the article "Occupy Wall Street, Racial Neoliberalism, and New York's Hip Hop Moguls" (American Quarterly, 2016). This work in hip hop studies has been supported by two AHRC small grants.

Following the publication of my gangsta rap monograph, in 2008, I started serving as a legal expert for the defence in cases in which defendants' rap lyrics and videos were relied on as incriminating evidence. This work in hip hop and criminal justice was an impact case study in REF2014, and led to an international workshops on Prosecuting Rap in October 2015 and July 2021 at University of Manchester and an AHRC Leadership Fellowship Prosecuting Rap: Criminal Justice and UK Black Youth Expressive Culture for 2020-21. 

 

 

Source: The University of Manchester 

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