I am currently a Composition and Cultural Rhetoric doctoral student at Syracuse University. Much of my
research interest and pedagogy center around Hip Hop. Hip Hop has leapt out of the Bronx and infiltrated
the American consciousness. The music can be heard everywhere including the news, commercials, clubs and even on our parents’ lips. However, I see Hip Hop as Greg Tate defines it in his 1993 poem “What is Hip Hop.” “Hip hop converted raw soul into a fetishized commodity. Hip hop has no morals, no conscience and no ecological concern for the scavenged earth or the scavenged
American minds wrecked in its pursuit of new markets.”
Tate’s poem graphically details the origins and complexities of the art form to support his assertion that “There’s no such thing as an alternative Hip Hop.” Tate believes there is no alternative Hip Hop because the nature of the art form itself is alternative.
Specifically, Hip Hop is a symbol of rebellion against Western societal norms. “Hip hop is the inverse of capitalism… the reverse of colonialism.” I am a fan of Hip Hop music because it functions as a protest mechanism and provides a voice for those who lie within the margins. However, it also simultaneously pushes others further into the margins. This dual performance is what inspired me to study the art form. I am also interested in investigating marginalize voices in contemperary Black culture in which HiP-Hop's influence is undeniable. Some of the topics I have been interested in include rapper Nicki Minaj's persona, R&B songstress Marsha Ambrosius' "Far Away" music video and Vibe Magazine's "The Mean Girls of Morehouse."