Beyond Beats

Research Question

How have socio-cultural dynamics influenced the marginalization of Black artists and stigma surrounding the emergence of Hip Hop, as viewed through the lens of music?


With the emergence of Hip Hop in the late 20th century, cultural movements that have resonated deeply with African American communities have only been met with disparagement by mainstream society in the United States. The portrayal of the harsh realities Black communities face is found within Hip Hop music, as lyrics highlight experiences and resilience, and it serves as a critique of systemic racism and injustices that are still prevalent. Particularly in the early 2000s, the rise of rap music led to Hip Hop movements misconstrued as controversial as they were “criticized for glorifying drug use, crime, misogyny, and material wealth” (Dahlin, 2019, p. 1). Our project aims to explore how socio-cultural dynamics in the United States have contributed to this marginalization as well as the rejection of Hip Hop’s emergence through the lens of music. We argue that the Hip Hop music genre and Black artists have faced a greater level of marginalization including attempts to be censored than any of their musical counterparts due to systemic biases that aim to silence their voices.

Explore Our Findings

Icon Collective – Hip Hop History