“You gotta have a con in this land of milk and honey”: exodus, race, and liberative performance in rap, Hip-Hop, and R&B music

Hayes, Eleanor (2022) “You gotta have a con in this land of milk and honey”: exodus, race, and liberative performance in rap, Hip-Hop, and R&B music. MTh(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Despite the secular positioning of much rap/hip-hop/R&B music, the book of Exodus has remained a significant cultural reference point for many black and African American artists to connect with their history and heritage in the quest for liberation. Indeed, this historically liberative relationship has been the much-considered subject of recent interdisplinary scholarship between the two texts, with particular emphasis made on the biblically inspired language of such music. Yet there remains little extensive research conducted on the allegorical relationship between those liberative themes of the Exodus text and the narratives of rap/hip-hop/R&B music. In this thesis, therefore, I will acknowledge this relationship under the rubric of critical race and gender theory and do so across four distinct musical case studies: C-Murder’s “Lord Help Us” (1999), Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s “The Message” (1982), Beyoncé’s “Freedom” (2016), and Lauryn Hill’s “To Zion” (1998). In each study, I will identify the circumstances of oppression as informed by a patriarchal status quo, which is also coded white in modern American society, before demonstrating how the liberative performances in each text subvert the ideals of their respective genres.

Item Type: Thesis (MTh(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BS The Bible
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > Theology and Religious Studies
Supervisor's Name: Nicholson, Dr. Sarah
Date of Award: 2022
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2022-82958
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2022 10:24
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2022 10:25
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.82958
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/82958

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