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Hip Hop in American Cinema

Melvin Donalson

Hip Hop in American Cinema examines the manner in which American feature films have served as the primary medium for mainstreaming hip hop culture into American society. With their glamorizing portrayals of graffiti writing, break dancing, rap music, clothing, and language, Hollywood movies have established hip hop as a desirable youth movement. This book demonstrates how Hollywood studios and producers have exploited the profitable connection among rappers, soundtracks, and mass audiences. Hip Hop in American Cinema offers valuable information for courses in film studies, popular culture, and American studies.
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Hip Hop in American Cinema examines the manner in which American feature films have served as the primary medium for mainstreaming hip hop culture into American society. With their glamorizing portrayals of graffiti writing, break dancing, rap music, clothing, and language, Hollywood movies have established hip hop as a desirable youth movement. This book demonstrates how Hollywood studios and producers have exploited the profitable connection among rappers, soundtracks, and mass audiences. Hip Hop in American Cinema offers valuable information for courses in film studies, popular culture, and American studies.

“Hip Hop in American Cinema is a pioneering study of the marriage of hip hop and gangsta rap with Hollywood, carefully considering the cultural, political, and business aspects of this important and often controversial musical phenomenon from the 1980s to the present. Today, rap outstrips both rock and country music in sales and pulses through the soundtracks of many Hollywood films, sometimes also furnishing the subject matter and the stars. Melvin Donalson, the well-known scholar of American film, surveys dozens of films, casting an understanding but critical eye on the music and its messages.”

Andrew Gordon, University of Florida;co-author, Screen Saviors: Hollywood Fictions of Whiteness

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