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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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In the time it has taken to research and write this book, I have been able to interact with numerous people who have assisted my approach to the book’s content. From students to professional writers, the numerous statements, opinions, and ideas about hip hop informed me about the value that hip hop holds for so many, both young and old.

With that stated, I must recognize three individuals who were ongoing resources for me in thinking through my exploration of hip hop: Dan White Hodge, Melina Abdullah, and Bakari Kitwana. In particular, Bakari’s friendship and discussions were of great assistance in my completion of the manuscript. Through Bakari and his celebrated Rap Sessions Tour, I was able to benefit from meeting and listening to numerous hip-hop scholars and journalists, including Davy D, Cheryl Keyes, Adam Mansbach, Joan Morgan, Mark Anthony Neal, Ernie Paniccioli, Raquel Rivera, Tracy Sharpley-Whiting, and Oliver Wang.

In providing their feedback and recommendations about hip-hop performers and film titles I have to thank Brian Donalson and Derek Donalson.

For taking time from his work to read my manuscript, I have to give my deep thanks to film scholar Andrew Gordon.

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