Title page for ETD etd-05122004-125920

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Katz, Meredith Ann
Author's Email Address mekatz@vt.edu
URN etd-05122004-125920
Title "The Beats Have No Color Lines:" An Exploration of White Consumption of Rap Music
Degree Master of Science
Department Sociology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Harrison, Anthony Kwame Committee Co-Chair
Ryan, John W. Committee Co-Chair
Hughes, Michael D. Committee Member
Kershaw, Terry Committee Member
  • racial identity
  • rap music
  • hip hop culture
  • political beliefs
  • white identity
  • cultural consumption
Date of Defense 2004-04-30
Availability unrestricted
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between white consumption of politically conscious rap music and the political beliefs of white rap music consumers. The guiding research questions included an exploration of why whites with little prior concern about racism consume rap music with politically conscious antiracist messages; if whites who consume this music believe the messages spoken are an accurate depiction of reality; and if a relationship exists between consumption of politically conscious rap music and an individual’s political beliefs. Through interviews of white fans at politically conscious rap shows it was found that many individuals do not understand the music they are consuming is political in intent. Individuals highlighted themes that they could identify with, namely the need for unity and love, while ignoring others, such as the need to fight against injustice and racism. While independently individuals may have liberal political beliefs and consume politically conscious rap music, there appears to be no indication that consumption of rap music alters political beliefs.
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