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From Jim Crow to Jay-ZRace, Rap, and the Performance of Masculinity$
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Miles White

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036620

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036620.001.0001

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Affective Gestures

Affective Gestures

Hip-hop Aesthetics, Blackness, and the Literacy of Performance

(p.32) 3. Affective Gestures
From Jim Crow to Jay-Z

Miles White

University of Illinois Press

This chapter looks at the ways in which the body, aesthetic features of hip-hop music, and the material culture that surrounds it are deployed to construct affect and help delineate between what is meant by hard and hardcore, both as music and as masculine performance. In hip-hop culture, uniqueness and the expression of individual identity are prioritized through behavior, modes of dress, language, and other ways. Those who adopt these styles of behavior in mannerism, dress, speech, or attitude become part of a community of practice that is able to persist because the expressive codes associated with the culture have the power to invoke it through any number of performative texts. The chapter also traces the historical evolution of hip-hop culture from a largely benign music to something more malevolent.

Keywords:   hip-hop aesthetics, material culture, performative texts, hip-hop culture, hip-hop music, masculine performance, individual identity

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