By Kenny Sultan
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Therefore, Black Noise is in no way an all-inclusive analysis of every facet of rap's impact on the popular terrain. Instead, it is a selective intervention that explores many, but by no means all, of the extraordinary social, cultural, and political implications of hip hop culture. I have chosen four main areas of inquiry: (1) the history of rap and hip hop in relationship to the New York postindustrial urban terrain; (2) rap's musical and technological interventions; (3) rap's racial politics, institutional critiques, and media and institutional responses; and (4) rap's sexual politics, particularly female rappers' critiques of men and the feminist debates that surround women rappers.
Some tales are one sister telling another to rid herself from the abuse of a lover. Like all contemporary voices, the rapper's voice is imbedded in powerful and dominant technological, industrial, and ideological insti- Page 3 tutions. Rappers tell long, involved, and sometimes abstract stories with catchy and memorable phrases and beats that lend themselves to black sound bite packaging, storing critical fragments in fast-paced electrified rhythms. Rap tales are told in elaborate and ever-changing black slang and refer to black cultural figures and rituals, mainstream film, video and television characters, and little-known black heroes.
Using James Scott's interpretation of hidden and public transcripts in popular practices as a framework, the first section is devoted to the ways in which rappers critique the police, the media, and the government and other contradictory moments of discursive and ideological insubordination in rap. , large-venue insurance coverage), media coverage of rap concerts, the social construction of rap-related violence, and the effects of such policing on the content and reception of rap music. Overall, Chapter 4 demonstrates the struggle between rappers' counterdominant public speech acts and the exercise of institutional and discursive power against them.