Anthony Jesse Deen
(thesis advisor)Andrew Zornoza
(thesis advisor)Colleen Macklin
(thesis advisor)Mattie Brice
(thesis advisor)Terricka Deann Johnson
May 4 2017
When the self-proclaimed “Prophets of Rage” blessed the airwaves with the rugged energy of “Fight the Power”, Public Enemy’s declaration of subversion against an unjust system of oppression would not only serve as the anti-establishment mantra for a budding post-segregation hip-hop generation, but also connect the draw the connection of social activism through black music across time. Using a Roland TR-808 to sample one of the most famous breakbeats of all time, Public Enemy captured the essence of “Funky Drummer”, James Brown’s unexpected hit that opens with a coded recollection of a police raid. Sonic Graffiti expounds upon this evolution from through examining the social benefits of hip-hop’s relationship with technology. It models itself on the balance of intercommunication and intracommunication, two concepts vital to understanding the double consciousness of black music from acoustic melodies of slave hymns to rhymes laced over the digital 808 kicks of hip-hop.
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