Ideological Critique of Political Systems


Rap music started as (and in some cases still is) an ideological critique of social/political systems that create and maintain social inequality. Tupac Shakur is undoubtedly more qualified to explain this than I am, so:

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What started as the voice of an oppressed group – outside the margins of the mainstream recording industry – became profitable in the mid 1990s, which led to a major-label-takeover of the genre. Because of the Logic of Safety, major labels might seek to avoid music that is controversial, so the ideological critique became less prominent in rap music over time.

Rap music can challenge ideologies of racism and classism, and work for social justice. However, lyrics have often promoted problematic ideologies of sexism, homophobia, consumer culture, and violence (and glorified drug use).
Re-read the section in your textbook about rap music as ideological critique (starting on pp. 213). In your answers to the questions below, please quote the textbook AND use quotes from at least three different songs on this pdf.
If you want to use other lyrics for comparison – rap or otherwise – in addition to those, that’s fine too. Just be sure to tell me the song and artist.
Don’t forget to leave a response comment!
Another helpful resource:



Starting from the selection of the songs and lyrics in this pdf
, identify and compare/contrast at least two ideological messages in the songs (one “positive” and one “negative).
How do the ideological messages seem to have changed over time?
(Has that change been universal or are there exceptions?)
Do you think that it’s ultimately possible for mainstream rap music created primarily by men to challenge dominant (i.e., hegemonic) ideology?



Things you may want to consider in your answer:

The increasing popularity of rappers like Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, Nikki Minaj – in other words, women;

Rap music that is independently produced
How our definition of masculinity has changed / is changing..For more information on Ideological Critique of Political Systems read :

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