About Us

The Journal for Hip Hop Studies (JHHS) is committed to publishing critically engaged, culturally relevant, and astute analyses of Hip Hop. Submissions should emphasize Hip Hop’s relationship to race, ethnicity, nationalism, class, gender, sexuality, justice and equality, politics, communication, religion, and popular culture. JHHS also explores the intersections of the sacred and profane for a better understanding of spirituality and religious discourses within the Hip Hop community.

  1. Culture, structure, and space within Hip Hop and rap
  2. Race, ethnicity, identity, class, and gender in a Hip Hop and rap context
  3. The religious and spiritual discourse and rhetoric of Hip Hop and rap
  4. The sociology of religion in Hip Hop and rap
  5. Hip Hop’s influence and reach in other culture industries (fashion, sports, television, film); within the political sphere, and within educational spaces
  • How do we understand mediated presentations of Hip Hop?
  • What is the relationship among rap music, film, and the Internet?
  • What theoretical frames are best adapted for the study of proliferation of Hip Hop? How do members of the Hip Hop generation understand God, religion, and spirituality?
  • How is Gnosticism interpreted within the Hip Hop community?

Editorial Team

Dr.  Daniel White Hodge

Dr. Daniel White Hodge

Editor in Chief View Details
Dr. Jeffrey Lamar Coleman

Dr. Jeffrey Lamar Coleman

Associate Editor and Poetry Editor View Details
Dr. Cassandra Chaney

Dr. Cassandra Chaney

Associate Editor View Details
Dr. Monica Miller

Dr. Monica Miller

Associate Editor View Details
Travis Harris

Travis Harris

Dr. Gabriel B. Tait

Dr. Gabriel B. Tait

Dr. James Braxton Peterson

Dr. James Braxton Peterson

Senior Editorial Advisory Board View Details
Dr. Anthony B. Pinn

Dr. Anthony B. Pinn

Senior Editorial Advisory Board View Details
Dr.  Daniel White Hodge

Dr. Daniel White Hodge

Editor in Chief

Dr. Hodge is the director of The Center For Youth Ministry Studies and assistant professor of youth ministry and popular culture at North Park University in Chicago Ill. He earned an A.A. in sociology from Monterey Peninsula College, a B.A. in social & behavioral science from Cal State Monterey Bay, an M.A. in intercultural communication from Fuller Theological Seminary, and a PhD in intercultural studies from Fuller Graduate Schools where he focused his research on the theological and spiritual significance of Tupac Amaru Shakur.

Dr. Hodge has taught at Cal State University Northridge’s Religious Studies department, Cal State Los Angeles’ Pan African Studies department, as well as Fuller Theological Seminary’s school of intercultural studies. As a speaker, writer, and activist he has spoken on many college campuses including Stanford University, UCLA, USC, and Union Theological Seminary. He teaches around the world on subjects such as Black popular culture, personality and the self, Hip Hop discourse, and race/ethnicity within religion.

Dr. Hodge’s research interests explore the intersections of faith, critical race theory, justice, Hip Hop culture, and youth culture. Among a host of journal articles, book chapters, and academic keynotes, his two current books are Heaven Has A Ghetto: The Missiological Gospel & Theology of Tupac Amaru Shakur (VDM 2009), and The Soul Of Hip Hop: Rimbs, Timbs, & A Cultural Theology (IVP 2010). He is currently working on a book titled The Hostile Gospel: Exploring Socio-Theological Traits in the Post Soul Context of Hip Hop (Brill Academic, early 2015) and Between God & Kanye: Youth Ministry in a Post-Civil Rights Era (IVP Academic, late 2015).

More can be found by visiting his website at www.whitehodge.com

Dr. Jeffrey Lamar Coleman

Dr. Jeffrey Lamar Coleman

Associate Editor and Poetry Editor

Dr. Jeffrey Lamar Coleman is an Associate Professor of English at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. He received a B.A. in Communications, with an emphasis in journalism and advertising, from Winthrop University, an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, with an emphasis in poetry, from Arizona State University, and a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of New Mexico. Between undergraduate and graduate studies, Coleman worked on Madison Avenue as an advertising copywriter for Young and Rubicam, the largest agency in the country at the time.

He is the author of Words of Protest, Words of Freedom: Poetry of the American Civil Rights Movement and Era, published by Duke University Press, and Spirits Distilled: Poems, published by Red Hen Press. Coleman has also served as poetry editor of Hayden’s Ferry Review, guest curator and editor for Delaware Poetry Review, and has contributed book reviews for the Albuquerque Journal. In addition, he has been interviewed about poetry and the civil rights movement by Tavis Smiley, Andrew Toncovich, Rev. Antoinette Gardner, Tom Hall and others.

Coleman’s teaching interests include literature and music of social protest, African-American creativity in the expressive arts, creative writing, multiethnic literature and postcolonial theory, and literary and cinematic representations of 9/11. His poetry and essays have appeared or will soon appear in the following publications: Cambridge Companion to American Civil Rights Literature, Post-War Literature: 1945-1970, The Black Intellectual Tradition in the Twentieth Century, Critical Essays on Alice Walker, Blue Mesa Review, Black Bear Review, Brilliant Corners: A Journal of Jazz and Literature, Delaware Poetry Review and Journal of Social and Political Thought. With support from the Maryland Humanities Council, he is a frequent guest lecturer throughout the state and country on the history and poetry of the American civil rights movement. He lives in St. Leonard, Maryland with his wife, Ynez, and two children, Nadia and Javier.

Dr. Cassandra Chaney

Dr. Cassandra Chaney

Associate Editor

Cassandra Chaney is a Black families’ scholar with broad interests in the formation, structure, and function of Black families. In particular, her research examines the narratives of single, dating, cohabiting, and married Blacks, as well as how religion and spirituality support these families, both historically and today. Using a variety of theoretical lenses, she qualitatively explores intimacy and commitment in Black heterosexual relationships, emphasizing how demonstrations and perceptions of masculinity/manhood and femininity/womanhood shape this discourse

In addition, her research also pinpoints factors that contribute to enduring Black marriages. Chaney also critiques the portrayal of Black families in various forms of mass media (e.g., television, screen, song lyrics). Given the unique challenges of Black families, her research provides recommendations regarding how policy can better meet the needs of Black families who experience heightened rates of incarceration, unemployment, weakened family structures, and racism.

Most important, her scholarship is rooted in a strengths-based perspective and is devoted to emphasizing the various ways that Black families remain resilient in the face of these challenges. Her work has been published in Ethnicities, Family Relations, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, International Journal of Religion and Society, Marriage & Family Review, Journal of Comparative Family Studies, Journal of Family Issues, the Journal of African American Studies, Forum for Family and Consumer Issues, Negro Educational Review, the Journalof Religion and Spirituality in Social Work: Social Thought, Religion & Society, Religion, Mental Health, & Society, and The Western Journal of Black Studies.

Dr. Monica Miller

Dr. Monica Miller

Associate Editor

Monica R. Miller holds research interests in religion in youth culture, popular culture, identity and difference, new black religious movements and theory and method in the study of religion. She earned her Ph.D. in Theology, Ethics, and Human Science from Chicago Theological Seminary (2010), M.T.S. from Drew Theological School (2006) and B.A. in Religious Studies from Fordham University (2004). Among a host of articles and book chapters, Miller is the author of Religion and Hip Hop (Routledge, 2012). Miller currently serves as a Senior Research Fellow with The Institute for Humanist Studies (Washington, DC), is Co-Chair and founder of Critical Approaches to the Study of Hip Hop and Religion Group (American Academy of Religion), Principal Investigator of “Remaking Religion” which examines changing patterns of religion and irreligion in youth culture in Portland, Oregon, member of the Culture on the Edge scholarly collective (University of Alabama), contributing editor of The Marginalia Review of books in history, theology, and religion, and editorial board member of The Journal of Hip Hop Studies . Miller is co-author of forthcoming volumes, Religion in Hip Hop: Mapping the New Terrain with Anthony B. Pinn and rapper Bernard “Bun B” Freeman (Bloomsbury Press), in addition to Claiming Identity in the Study of Religion (Equinox, 2014) and The Religion and Hip Hop Reader with Anthony B. Pinn (Routledge). Her work has been featured in a host of regional and national print, radio, live video, and TV news outlets including NPR, The Washington Post, The Oregonian, The Root, Left of Black, and Huffington Post Live. She has presented her research at colleges, universities, and conferences throughout the U.S., Cuba and Canada. Miller writes for Huffington Post, BET.com, and the Culture on the Edge Scholarly Collective. She maintains a website at http://www.religionandhiphop.com and can be found on Twitter @religionhiphop.

Travis Harris

Travis Harris


Travis Harris is a graduate student in William and Mary’s American Studies program. He has a vast array of research interest including African American Religion, African American Studies, Black Popular Culture and Redemptive Suffering. His scholarship focuses on the intersection of Hip Hop and Christianity. Travis received a B.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia and a M.Div. from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology of Virginia Union University. During seminary, Travis also worked as the Education Coordinator for the Department of Emergency at the University of Virginia. Additionally, Travis was ordained as a minister of the gospel at First Baptist Church in Charlottesville, VA.

Travis has served as the Executive Director of Youth Outreach Services, a non-profit organization that empowers at-risk teenagers to become productive citizens in society. Travis has also served as the Vice President of I.M.P.A.C.T., a faith based organization in Charlottesville that has fought for justice for the disenfranchised in Charlottesville.

Dr. Gabriel B. Tait

Dr. Gabriel B. Tait


Gabriel B. Tait is fascinated with transforming how people see the world they live in. This fascination has resulted in him earning his Ph.D. and M.A. in Intercultural Studies from Asbury Theological Seminary, and a B.A. in Communication with an emphasis in Photojournalism from Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania.

Dr. Tait grew up in the early 1980s in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As the communities he knew began to change, Tait enrolled in an after-school photography program designed to train “at risk” youth in the arts. This experience in photography and the changes in the surrounding culture led to his quest to understand how photography can be used to make sense of the world in which we find ourselves.

Tait notes, “By recording the changing faces of my world: the old lady on the porch, the children playing in the sand box at the local school, the athletes at the barbershop, the jazz musicians in smoky places, and the OGs hustlin’ on the corner all became fair game to show outsiders the community I called home.”

As an assistant professor of multimedia journalism at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Dr. Tait now incorporates his 25-plus years as a photojournalist (which included covering news events around the world for two of the country’s top newspapers) into his classroom. He is constantly teaching and mentoring his students to understand the world they live in. This process of “seeing” is his goal in visually developing his students.

Academically, Dr. Tait has published a number of journal articles and book chapters including: “The Missionary and the Camera: Developing an Ethic for Contemporary Missionary Photographers,” and “Understanding the Importance of Diversity in Missions: An African American Perspective.” He is also the creator of the visual research methodology called, “Sight Beyond My Sight” (SBMS). SBMS uses ethnographic photography to learn about local cultures from members within the culture. His method is currently being used in mission studies, visual anthropology, and photojournalism research. A manuscript on his research in Liberia is currently under review.

His research interests include visual anthropology, phototgraphic cultural representation, hip-hop studies, visual communication, African and African-American mission history, and missionary photography.

Dr. James Braxton Peterson

Dr. James Braxton Peterson

Senior Editorial Advisory Board

James Braxton Peterson (Duke ’93, UPENN 2003) is the Director of Africana Studies and Associate Professor of English at Lehigh University. He has been Associate Professor of English at Bucknell University, a visiting lecturer and preceptor in African American Studies at Princeton University and the Media Coordinator for the Harvard University Hip Hop Archive. He is also the founder of Hip Hop Scholars, LLC, an association of Hip Hop generational scholars dedicated to researching and developing the cultural and educational potential of Hip Hop, urban, and youth cultures. Peterson has written numerous scholarly articles on Hip Hop Culture, Multiculturalism, African American Literature, Culture, and Linguistics as well as Urban Studies. He has conducted interviews with Gil Scott Heron, Dr. Manning Marable, Sistah Souljah, Snoop Dogg, Dead Prez, DJ Jazzy Jeff and generally applies his journalistic skills and his ethnographic training toward innovative academic inquiry. Peterson has been featured on/in BET and Bet.com, The Michael Eric Dyson Show, Hot 97’s “Street Soldiers,” The Michael Baisden Show, and the award-winning PBS documentary, Beyond Beats and Rhymes. He has appeared on CNN, Fox News, CBS News, MSNBC, ABC News, ESPN, HLN, and various local television networks as an expert on popular culture, urban youth and politics. Peterson blogs for the Huffington Post and he has published his scholarly work in Callaloo, Criticism, Black Arts Quarterly, XXL, and African American Review. Essays and other ‘public sphere’ writing have appeared on The Root.com, and SLAM online. Peterson is currently working on his first academic book, Major Figures: Critical Essays on Hip Hop Music (Mississippi University Press). He has also been featured and/or quoted in Vibe Magazine, Philadelphia Weekly, The Miami Herald, Southern Voices and The Wall Street Journal. For more information, speech clips and media appearances please go to: http://www.youtube.com/DrJamesPeterson

Dr. Anthony B. Pinn

Dr. Anthony B. Pinn

Senior Editorial Advisory Board

Anthony B. Pinn received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1994. Other degrees include the BA from Columbia University, and the MDiv and MA, both from Harvard. Pinn began his teaching career at Macalester College (St. Paul, MN), where his research and teaching earned him early tenure and promotion to full professor within the first eight years of his career. In 2003, Pinn accepted an offer from Rice University (Houston, TX), becoming the first African American to hold an endowed chair at the University. After an additional semester at Macalester and a semester at Williams College as the Sterling Brown 1922 Visiting Professor, Pinn joined the Rice faculty as the Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities and Professor of Religious Studies at Rice University. While at Rice, Pinn founded and directed the Houston Enriches Rice Education (HERE) project (2007-2012). During the summer of 2012, Pinn received approval to transform the HERE Project into the Center for Engaged Research and Collaborative Learning. This center is a part of the Rice University Kinder Institute for Urban Research. Pinn also founded and directs the doctoral concentration in the study of African American Religion at Rice. Outside Rice, Pinn has served as the first executive director of the Society for the Study of Black Religion, and he also served on the Meadville Lombard Theological School Board of Trustees (2007-2012). In addition, he has served in various roles on the board of directors and the executive committee of the American Academy of Religion. He is also the Director of Research for the Institute for Humanist Studies Think Tank (Washington, DC).

Pinn made his initial mark on the academy with Why, Lord?: Suffering and Evil in Black Theology (1995), galvanizing Pinn as an African American humanist and solidifying African American humanism as an historic, non-theistic religious orientation for African Americans. In this text, Pinn finds that black theologians have no evidence to support the notion that God is working on behalf of the oppressed, and any theological position that claims such is based on redemptive suffering theodicies that perpetuate African American suffering. For Pinn, human liberation is more important than the maintenance of any religious symbol, including God. Pinn offers African American humanism as a strategy for “liberation” that does not make black suffering virtuous.

Why, Lord? provided a foundation for much of the work to follow. The black humanism Pinn espoused in Why, Lord? has dominated a great deal of Pinn’s work, seen in such texts as By These Hands: A Documentary History of African American Humanism (2001) andAfrican American Humanist Principles: Living and Thinking Like the Children of Nimrod (2004). By These Hands explores African American humanist thought in history, suggesting that humanism is not new to black religion. African American Humanist Principles articulates practical and philosophical unifying ideas within African American humanism. Collectively, these texts demonstrate African American humanism’s historical legacy as a religious orientation within the African American community, as well as offer theological and ethical explications of black humanism not previously addressed by scholars of African American religion. Most recently, Pinn pushes the African American humanist position into even greater view with The End of God-Talk: An African American Humanist Theology (2012). This text presents a non-theistic African American Humanist theology that brings together elements of an humanist theology while expanding the understanding of theology to include non-theistic orientations.

Pinn’s research has always demanded a thorough and expansive use of theory and method. Pinn took up the task of specifically addressing these issues in Terror and Triumph: The Nature of Black Religion (2003), claiming in it that the black religious impulse is the “quest for complex subjectivity.” More than simply traditional, organized theistic belief and practice, black religion is fundamentally a quest to answer and address the who, what, when, where and why of human existence in general, in terms set against the backdrop of the particular history of dehumanization and terror experienced by African Americans. Terror and Triumph also provides attention to methodological concerns necessary for the flourishing of African American religious studies as a discipline of critical inquiry and investigation through the development of ‘relational centralism,’ an interdisciplinary methodology combining aspects of traditional religious studies with elements of anthropology, aesthetics and art criticism. For Pinn, black religious scholarship requires attention to both its form and content. To date, scholars of African American religion have dealt extensively with the content of black religion, but not as fully with the questions of what is black religion, what is black religion and what is black religion, the form(s). Terror and Triumph, then, provides a shift in both how African American religion is theorized and a programmatic shift in the methodologies employed in the study of African American religion.

Aside from the specific interest in theory and method, Pinn has authored two history texts. With his mother Anne Pinn, The Fortress Introduction to Black Church History(2001) is widely used in classrooms as it provides an accessible entry point for seminarian and laity alike to engage black church history in all its diversity. More recently, Pinn wroteThe Black Church in the Post-Civil Rights Era (2002) which addresses ongoing concerns and challenges facing the black church. Other notable edited volumes include Noise and Spirit: The Religious and Spiritual Sensibilities of Rap Music (2003) and with Dwight Hopkins, Loving the Body: Black Religious Studies and the Erotic (2004). Noise and Spirit collects essays from various scholars of black religion addressing the overt and subversive religiosity at work within hip hop culture. Loving the Body uncovers black religious scholars’ theorization and application of the body within African American religious studies. More recently, Pinn’s Embodiment and the New Shape of Black Theological Thought (2010) extends the discussion of embodiment that accompanies much of his work, offering guiding points for future black theological scholarship, as well as presenting a detailed depiction of the practical application of “the quest for complex subjectivity” as theory of black religion. Centrally, this text is a nascent exploration of what a “body-centered approach to theological thought” might look like, and an explication of why prioritizing “the body’s meaning and lived experiences” as the starting point for theology is vital for future scholarship. Author of nearly thirty monographs or edited volumes, Pinn also serves as editor of four different book series: With Katie G. Cannon (Union Theological Seminary PSCE),Innovations in African American Religious Thought, Fortress Press. With Caroline Levander (Rice University), Imagining the Americas, Oxford University Press. With Stacey Floyd-Thomas (Vanderbilt University), Religion and Social Transformation, New York University Press, and more recently Studies in Humanist Thought and Practice, Equinox.

Pinn is concerned with the larger Houston community and through the HERE Project and now the Center for Engaged Research and Collaborative Learning, he works to foster greater connections and collaborations between Rice University and the larger Houston community. For example, each year, a city-wide high school essay contest is held, awarding scholarships to the top essayists and SAT test-prep courses to the top ten finalists. Nearly two hundred high school students participated in 2010. Under Pinn’s leadership, the program also archives valuable cultural artifacts from the community through endeavors such as the African American Quilt Exhibit and the archiving of the papers of some of Houston’s most influential leaders. Also, each year a member of the Houston community is honored through the Legacy award. Thanks to these endeavors, the Center for Engaged Research and Collaborative Learning provides a much needed link between what happens inside Rice’s campus and outside it in the surrounding city.

Pinn also founded and serves as primary advisor of the doctoral concentration in the study of African American Religion at Rice University. The doctoral concentration in the study of African American Religion, since its founding in 2003, has developed a reputation within the academy as a program committed to academic rigor and the flourishing of African American religious studies. This concentration, currently with 10 PhD students, is marked by excellence on and off campus. For example, the students in this concentration have received prestigious grants and fellowships, regularly publish, and give papers at conferences across the globe. Known internationally as a leading expert in the field of African American religion, Pinn is a professor, prolific author and much sought after lecturer committed to academic rigor and the continued growth of African American Religious Studies as a discipline within the academy. Pinn’s continued teaching and research interests span liberation theologies, black religious aesthetics, religion and popular culture, and African American humanism.


Editorial Reviewers


Dr. Rachelle Ankney
North Park University

Dr. Jason J. Campbell
Nova Southeastern University

Dr. Jim Dekker
Cornerstone University

Ms. Martha Diaz
New York University

Mr. Earle Fisher
Rhodes College/Abyssinian Baptist Church, United States

Dr. Daymond Glenn
Warner Pacific College

Dr. Deshonna Collier-Goubil
Azusa Pacific University

Dr. Kamasi Hill
Interdenominational Theological Center

Dr. Andre Johnson
Memphis Theological Seminary

Dr. David Leonard
Washington State University

Dr. Terry Lindsay
North Park University

Dr. Velda Love
North Park University

Dr. Monica Miller
Lewis & Clark College

Dr. Anthony J. Nocella II
Hamline University

Dr. Shanté Paradigm Smalls
St. John’s University, Queens New York

Dr. Soong-Chan Rah
North Park University

Dr. Rupert Simms
North Park University

Dr. Darron Smith
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center

Dr. Gabriel Tait
Arkansas State University

Dr. Jules Thompson
University Minnesota, Twin Cities

Dr. Mary Trujillo
North Park University

Dr. Edgar Tyson
Fordham University

Dr. Ebony A. Utley
California State University Long Beach

Dr. Don C. Sawyer III
Quinnipiac University

Dr. Cassandra Chaney
Louisiana State University

Mr. Jon Ivan Gill
Claremont Graduate University

Mr. Derrick Colon
Southeastern University


Journal Submission

Please read these guidelines and then upload your article, essay, review, to http://jhhsonline.org/submissions 

  • The Journal of Hip Hop Studies publishes rigorously peer-reviewed academic work of the highest quality.
  • The Journal of Hip Hop Studies provides the utmost respect, love, and care during the review process.
  • The Journal of Hip Hop Studies is a free-to-access electronic journal.
  • The Journal of Hip Hop Studies charges no fees for publication.
  • The Journal of Hip Hop Studies supports and encourages submissions that are excluded from mainstream journals, including the use of photographic, video, MP3, and new media work.
  • The Journal of Hip Hop Studies, while an academic journal provides space and place for activists’ contributions.
  • research articles and essays – 2,000 to 10,000 words
  • action alert summaries – no more than 2,000 words
  • film, book, art, and media reviews – no more than 3,000 words

    Poetry submissions are accepted year-round. Please limit your submission to no more than five previously unpublished poems in a single Microsoft Word file, with poems separated by titles or page breaks. Poems may consist of any subject matter, but works that substantively incorporate aspects of hip hop culture and/or history are particularly welcome. Poets should remove all self-identification from submissions, but all submissions must be accompanied by a title page with the poet’s name and contact information including e-mail, postal address, and phone number. Simultaneous submissions will not be accepted, and we ask that you wait for a response from the editor before submitting new or additional work. Every effort will be made to inform poets of the editor’s decision within 6-8 weeks of receipt of a manuscript. Poets whose manuscripts are accepted for publication will be asked to submit a brief biography that includes their institutional or organizational affiliations. Please send poetry submissions to Dr. Daniel White Hodge dwhodge@northpark.edu and Dr. Jeffrey Coleman jlcoleman@smcm.edu (poetry editor).

    • All submissions should have appropriate references and citations. Manuscripts should be double-spaced, contain 12-point font and conform to the Chicago Manual of Style format (16th, foot notes [numerical]).
    • Submissions must be sent in Microsoft Word format. Submissions in other software formats will not be reviewed.
    • Authors should remove all self-identification from their submissions, but all submissions must be accompanied by a title page with author(s) name and affiliation, name of type of submission (e.g., article, review, conference summary, etc.), contact information including e-mail, postal address, and phone number.
    • Authors must include an abstract of no more than 150 words that briefly describes the manuscript’s contents.

    Upon acceptance for review, the The Journal of Hip Hop Studies editors will send manuscripts, under a double-peer reviewed process, to no less than two, and generally three reviewers. Reviewers provide their recommendations to the editor, who makes the final decision to accept the manuscript.

    The Journal of Hip Hop Studies holds to the utmost respect, love, and care when reviewing manuscripts. Each review we assure is constructive, positive, and hopefully useful to the author. We strongly welcome first time authors, students, nontraditional students, activists, youth, community organizers, prisoners, politicians, and teachers.

    Submissions will be assigned to one of the four following categories:

    1. accept without revisions

    2. accept with editorial revisions

    3. revise and resubmit for peer review

    4. reject Every effort will be made to inform authors of the editor’s decision within 100 days of receipt of a manuscript. Authors, whose manuscripts are accepted for publication, will be asked to submit a brief biography that includes their institutional or organizational affiliations and their research interests. The Journal of Hip Hop Studies only publishes original materials.

    Please do not submit manuscripts that are under review or previously published elsewhere.

    • All Work published by the Journal is copyrighted by The Journal of Hip Hop Studies.
    • Republication of Contributor’s Submitted Work may be assessed a reasonable fee for the administration and facilitation to other presses. Such fee shall be determined at the discretion of The Journal of Hip Hop Studies.
    • Royalties: Contributor agrees and acknowledges that no royalty, payment, or other compensation will be provided by The Journal of Hip Hop Studies in exchange for or resulting from the publication of the Submitted Work.

    The Journal

    Baadassss Gangstas

    Baadassss Gangstas

    • Volume 1: Issue 1, Spring 2014, pp. 62 ‐ 80

    The Parallel Influences, Characteristics and Criticisms of the Blaxploitation Cinema and Gangsta Rap Movements

    Dustin Engels


    Serving as two of the most visible African American cultural movements, blaxploitation cinema and gangsta rap played essential roles in giving African American artists an outlet to establish a new black identity for mainstream audiences. After exploring the similarities between the cultural and economic conditions that spawned both movements, this essay examines the parallel techniques by which the preeminent entries in both genres established themselves as culturally relevant for African American audiences. These techniques included a reliance on place and space to establish authenticity, as well as employing African American myths and folklore such as the Signifying Monkey and the badman. By establishing themselves as mainstream representations of black identity, the harshest critics and staunchest defenders of both movements came from within the African American community, a clear indication of the important role each would play in establishing a new era of black representation in
    popular culture.

    Listen to the Story

    Listen to the Story

    Banksy, Tyler the Creator, and the Growing Nihilistic Mindset

    Duri Long


    Art, as an expression of feelings, worldviews, and personal beliefs, is a reflection of our environment and how we interact with it. In this way, urban art such as rap music and graffiti can serve as a lens through which we are able to examine the state of the urban environment. Building on community literature that addresses the presence of nihilism in rap music, this work will establish that nihilism is a prevalent theme in the work of two artists: Tyler the Creator’s rap music and BANKSY’s graffiti art. By examining the growing subculture and appeal of urban art in relation to these two artists, this paper will argue that BANKSY and Tyler the Creator belong to a new wave of urban art, one that appeals to and originates from people of all races and classes. The current work will then examine these artists’ motives in including nihilism within their art in order to argue that the disillusionment and nihilism once found primarily within inner cities is now spreading to new frontiers. Using this analysis, the current work will raise questions as to the possible causes and consequences of this spreading nihilistic mindset.

    Typologies of Black Male Sensitivity in R&B and Hip Hop

    Typologies of Black Male Sensitivity in R&B and Hip Hop

    Cassandra Chaney and Krista D. Mincey


    A qualitative content analysis was conducted on the lyrics of 79 R&B and Hip Hop songs from 1956-2013 to identify the ways that these Black male artists expressed sensitivity. The songs were determined by Billboard Chart Research Services, and Phenomenology provided the theoretical foundation on which the themes were identified. Qualitative analysis of the lyrics revealed Black male sensitivity in R&B and Hip Hop to be based on the following four typologies: (a) Private Sensitivity; (b) Partnered Sensitivity; (c) Perceptive Sensitivity; and (d) Public Sensitivity. Private Sensitivity occurred when the Black male is alone; feels lonely; disguises or hides his tears from his romantic partner or others; and expresses a determination to not cry and/or continue crying. Partnered Sensitivity occurred when the Black male
    encourages and/or connects with his romantic partner, other men, and/or members of the Black community through crying. Perceptive Sensitivity was demonstrated when Black men acknowledge the tears shed by others, and shed tears themselves while being conscious of society’s expectation that men suppress emotion and/or refrain from crying. Public Sensitivity was exemplified when the Black male cries publicly and verbally expresses that he does not care what others think of him. Qualitative examples are provided to support each of the aforementioned themes.


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