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Hip Hop in American Cinema

Updated on October 25, 2013

Hip Hop in American Cinema by Melvin Donaldson

Hip Hop in American Cinema by Melvin Donaldson is an evaluation by the author on how various features in the movie and music industry cinemas have served as the basic means of mainstreaming the culture of hip hop in America. According to the author, the American cinema has common features and portrayals such as: break dancing, graffiti writings, clothing styles, rap music as well as the language. In this book, the author argues that Hollywood movies for instance, have become quite popular among the youth due to its established hip hop culture The author further portrays how the American cinema industry has exploited the so crucial connection among the sound trackers, rappers, artists and mass audiences. In essence, the author has in this book offered invaluable insights the popular culture, American cinema industry and American culture.

In Hip Hop in American Cinema, the author examines the existing link between gangster rap and hip hop to Hollywood. Melvin views that in a span of more than 25 years, Hollywood and hip pop culture have intersected and subsequently resulted into the creation of improved revenues in the entertainment industry . In this perspective, he takes into account, the political and cultural aspect of this crucial but controversial musical trend from early 1980s up to the present stance. According to Melvin, rap music has come to supersede both country and rock music with regard to sales and popularity.

Melvin considers separate chapters for rap artist Tupac Shakur and his mother Queen Latifa in his book because the latter was the first lady rapper to be awarded an Oscar nomination for Chicago. According to him, he accords special regard to these duos because they left an impact in American rap culture. The singling out of these two musicians in the two chapters was one way of evaluating the rappers and providing a case study of musicians who typically achieved a fundamental rank both in the music and film scenes. In the fourth chapter of the book, the author examines the basic impact which rapper Tupac Shakur created in the gangster rap in 1990s while in the fifty chapter, he points out the position which Queen Latifa held in an industry that was dominated by male figures.


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