Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Rose, Tricia. "Orality and Technology: Rap Music and Afro-American Cultural Resistance." Popular Music and Society 13, no. 4 (Spring 1989): 35-44.

Rap is often conceptualized as developing from the oral orientation of the African-American tradition but is rather a complex combination of orality and post-modern technology. The concept of rap as a "post-literate" oral tradition that is a natural outgrowth of oral Afro-American traditional forms is overly simplistic and romanticized. Rap lyrics, which are strongly identified with the rappers that wrote them, display the strong sense of authorship at work in the rap community, which stands in stark contrast to the concepts of orality. However, rap artists' use of sampling reveals the influence of the oral Afro-American tradition in which authorial authority is achieved not in creating a story but rather in its retelling, as texts are considered community property. By sampling, rap artists recontextualize pre-existing material, essentially using sampling technology as "de- and re-construction devices." Sampling, largely regarded as theft by the mass culture, consequently creates a type of resistance against that culture. The re-use of copyrighted material without permission can be read as undermining the legal and capital market authorities.

Works: Kool Moe Dee (Mohandas Dewese) and Teddy Riley: How Ya Like Me Now! (41); Eric B. (Eric Barrier) and Rakim (William Griffin Jr.): Paid in Full (42-43).

Sources: Jimmy Forrest: Night Train as performed by James Brown (41); Franne Golde, Dennis Lambert and Duane Hitchings: Don't Look Any Further as performed by Dennis Edward (42-43).

Index Classifications: 1900s, Popular

Contributed by: Sarah Florini

Except where otherwise noted, this website is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
Creative Commons Attribution License