Exploring Cultural Identity, Masculinity and Hip Hop Music

Dr. DeReef Jamison, visiting assistant professor, will deliver a talk on “the relationship between cultural identity, masculinity, and hip hop music preference” to interested students and faculty.

Jamison’s talk examines and explores the idea that cultural identity plays a critical role in shaping African American perceptions of reality. An example of this phenomenon can be seen in perceptions of masculinity and hip hop music preference.

DeReef Jamison. The themes found in hip hop music cover a broad spectrum of cultural consciousness that range from a strong cultural identity to a weak cultural identity. Generations of African American males are having their consciousness (sense of self, values, perceptions of the world, etc.) influenced by hip hop music. Dr. Jamison’s presentation contributes to the discourse on a critical analysis of hip hop music by isolating various types of hip hop music and examining their relationship to cultural orientation and African American males’ sense of masculinity. Hip hop music has an aesthetic appeal, but ultimately what is it really saying about African American masculinity, and what function do these messages serve in improving the quality of life among African Americans?

With such increasingly large numbers of African American youth listening to hip hop music, it is critical that hip hop artists, producers, and promoters take advantage of this opportunity and utilize the culturally conscious and political aspects of hip hop music to advocate and advance a more progressive approach to understanding African American cultural identity and masculinity.