1. Introduction: The Spectacular World of Rap.

In today’s hypermediated society, where the real is usurped by the inescapable image, the underlying narrativization and essentializing of societal constructions, such as race and gender, are amplified. Under Debord’s spectacle in Society of the Spectacle, capitalism, as well as other forms of seeming societal fundamentals, are hidden behind the walls of the spectacular. Capitalism, religion, race, gender and more utilize the spectacle as a vehicle towards legitimacy and “realness”. The spectacle, per Debord is society’s “instrument of unification” (No. 3) -- “an [“objectified”] world vision” (No. 5) that is both produced by, yet constitutes the very organicness of, society:“Lived reality is materially invaded by the contemplation of the spectacle while simultaneously absorbing the spectacular order, giving it positive cohesiveness.” (Debord, 1967, No. 8) Debord highlights the mass media’s place in the spectacle, one defined ostensibly by mere entertainment, yet one that conserves and continues the spectacle’s “totalitarian management of the conditions of existence.” (No. 24):

“If the spectacle, taken in the limited sense of ‘mass media’ which are its most glaring superficial manifestation, seems to invade society as mere equipment, this equipment is in no way neutral but is the very means suited to its self-movement.” (Debord, 1967, No. 24)

Mass media is often cited as the culprit in perpetuating essentialized stereotypes and norms surrounding race and gender. Indeed, hypermediated visual culture utilizes racial and gender cues in myriad fashions to both subvert and reinforce the conceptions of an organic maleness or blackness. Today’s rap culture accentuates the stereotyped cues of black men as violent and misogynistic, imbuing such a persona with ostensible visual prompts. However, the status of the hypermasculine, phallocentric black male in rap music and rap culture is not easily delineated; and, moreover, its utility within the spectacle is even more elusive. Rap culture is predicated on the ideology of authenticity and realness; yet, the hypermediated nature of rap culture, through its commodification into pop culture, ostensibly precludes any claims to this phenomenon of legitimacy as street credibility. The visuals of rap music videos, however, continue to motivate this perception of authenticity, particularly the perpetuated realness and essentialism of black machismo. As rap culture is increasingly commodified through popular culture, many contend that it perpetuates an identity of the black male that buttresses racial ideologies and gender ideologies within the mainstream, as well as disavowing people within the black community that fail to evince a requisite black hypermasculinity.

As with most things instantiated within Debord’s spectacle, the matter of actual “realness” is inconsequential in comparison to a perceived “realness”. In other words, if one’s only exposure to black culture or inner city life is that which is broadcast on MTV or BET, then those mediated images may necessarily constitute reality. Thusly, I seek to examine how the ostensibly inherent spectacle of cultural commodification works to justify and sustain the hypermasculine, violent, misogynistic and homophobic black male caricature. And, moreover, I seek to question the perceived utility of rap music as a venue for self-authorship and self-constitution of masculinity for the black community and beyond.

2. The Dynamics of a Black Masculinity.

In examining the commod50_cent-1.jpgification of the spectacle of black masculinity within rap music, one should investigate the role of masculinity in assembling and sustaining a certain blackness. Black masculinity is an oft-cited target of racial hegemony reinforcement. The conception of masculinity within the black community has been metamorphosed in numerable fashions as a means of subverting the prevailing perceptionsof mainstream black masculinity within theracial majority. Herman Gray describes the multifold manifestations of mainstream black masculinity in “Black Masculinity and Visual Culture”:

"Black heterosexual masculinity is figured in popular imagination as the basis of masculine hero worship in the case of rappers; as naturalized and commodified bodies in the case of athletes; as symbols of menace and threat in the case of black gang members;and as noble warriors in the case of Afrocentric nationalists and Fruit of Islam.” (Gray, 1995, p. 402)

The current terminus in a lineage of black masculine personas, the phallocentric, hyper-masculine rap artist is but another attempt at excluding the racial majority from the realm of discourse in which the conceptions of black masculinity are constructed and essentialized. The current hyper-masculine conditions of the mainstream black community, may, indeed stem from the purported vulnerability of a black masculine dynamic to threats from a racially hegemonic patriarchy -- one that perceives of black masculinity as equally threatening. Indeed, the concept of the formidable black male stems far beyond the realm of rap music and visual culture. Matthew Oware in “Brotherly Love: Homosociality and Black Masculinity in Gangsta Rap Music” (2010) examines the history of “‘the Strong Black Man,’(Neal 2006)”:

“...Black males created a ‘functional myth’ to help them handle their plight (p. 21). Majors and Billson (1992) write that although black males defined their manhood similarly to white males -- provider, breadwinner, procreator, and protector -- they did not have the necessary resources to fulfill these roles.” (Oware, p. 23)

The black community, in particular black men, have often reappropriated non-self-constructed identities as a means of thwarting the influence of a latent racial and societal narrative on the construction of a black masculinity, whose necessity is dictated by a essentialized racialism - the perpetuated organicness of race in society’s spectacle. Moreover, the dynamic of an essentialized racialism within the spectacle preserves a paralleling Orientalism, a paralleling imperative for Othering. Under a system of prescriptive Othering (e.g., blackness constitutes A, while whiteness constitutes B), black masculinity must forge through a barrage of threats posed by an inherent inferiority within the process of racial Othering. Consequently, the need to dictate the terms within which the black community manages and manipulates gender and sexuality, two of the spectacle’s essentialized ideologies, leads to an equally constructed antithesis (e.g., the weak and effeminate gay Black diva) -- an antithesis devoid of the efficacy of the black hypermasculine male, an efficacy deemed necessary to enter a post-racial world. The non-hypermasculine black male as an encumbrance towards racial equality is highlighted in E. Patrick Johnson’s “The Specter of the Black Fag: Parody, Blackness and the Hetero/Homosexual B(r)others” (2003):

“For to be ineffectual is the most damaging thing one can be in the fight against oppression. Insofar as ineffectiveness is problematically sutured to femininity and homosexuality within a black cultural politic that privileges race over other categories of oppression, it follows that the subject accorded these attributes are marginalized and excluded from the boundaries of blackness.” (Johnson, 2003, p. 220)

More importantly, through rap music, this self-devised and singular phallocentric black masculinity is commodified, packaged and marketed as the only authentic and effective representation of black manhood. Thus, in the black community, hyper-masculinity and heterosexuality are a prerequisite of authentic blackness; and, this required machismo is commodified through the spectacular vehicle of rap music, the rap artist and, especially, the rap music video. Inasmuch, the mainstream is marketed the “unreal” of black masculinity, its narrative of the hyperbolic black machismo, under the auspices of entertainment; an entertainment, however, dictated on the premise of the “real”, of authenticity.

3. Where Rap Comes In.

The rap realm is not alone in utilizing Debord’s latent “unreal”, e.g., essentialized narrativizations, Othering, etc., to reach an end; however, the dynamics in which rap music perpetuates the appearance of the authentic black male represents a multifaceted example. To begin, one need only look at the origins of rap music, such as Grandmaster Flash and “The Message” or NWA and “Fuck the Police.” These two examples exemplify both artists and songs that relayed, in almost voyeuristic manner, the adversities of neighborhoods like South Side Bronx and Compton respectively. The utility of rap music in these instances was exactly authenticity, constructing through the interlaces of visual and audible culture the anxieties of a societal affliction affecting a disproportionate number of blacks -- the inner city.


Theorists, such as Jose Esteban Munoz, purport the necessity of counterpublic spheres as a means to disqualify the superior group from the discourse of the subordinated.(1) Rap music gave those within the inner city, particularly black youth, the outlet for counterpublic discourse. Inasmuch, rap music quickly became replete with representations of the hyperbolic masculine black man -- a man efficacious in both withstanding the ills of the streets and those of an inequitable society. However, the mechanisms of capitalism and the spectacle persisted; and, without fail, the mediated spectacle of the hypermasculine black male, as well as the spectacle of the harsh and violent terrain upon which he sustains, were imbued with the seeming “realness” of Debord’s spectacular society.

In “An Exploration of Spectacular Consumption: Gangsta Rap as Cultural Commodity” (1997), Eric Watts delves into the swift, sudden and successful commodification of rap music, whose origins are ostensibly counterpublic. He remarks that the mainstream has often consumed black cultural elements, although “...the answer becomes more complex if we shift from a perspective that explores the ways in which consumerism is altered in correspondence with rap artistry’s “political soul” of agitation and mobilization (Lusane, 1994b, p. 58).” (Watts, p. 42)

The militarist authenticity of rap music manipulates the spectacular society with a multifarious modality. Firstly, rap music perpetuates an essentialized hypermasculinity in the black community, one necessary for survival in the inner city and as a means to transcend the ills of a racialized society. Secondly, rap music perpetuates a semblance of authenticity that, while once a part of rap’s utility within the counterpublic sphere, works to buttress the spectacular notions of violence, misogyny and ostentatious consumerism associated with the black male under rap music’s regime. Thirdly, this notion of authenticity gains little momentum from a “realness”, but rather lives solely within the realm of the spectacle; thusly, devoiding rap artists, rap music and rap culture of an actual self-constituting agency, placing it under the helm of the mechanics of the spectacle.

4. 'Things Just Got Real': Authenticity in Rap.

According to Debord, everyone and everything lives within the spectacle; and, inasmuch, the spectacle becomes reality. In other words, in today’s hypermediated realm, the visual imagery of the spectacle is society’s closest contact with a seemingly intangible real:

“Where the real world changes into simple images, the simple images become real beings and effective motivations of hypnotic behavior...But the spectacle is not identifiable with mere gazing, even combined with hearing. It is that which escapes the activity of men, that which escapes reconsideration and correction by their work.” (Debord, 1967, No. 18)

Thus, in the mechanisms of the spectacle, the realness of rap’s authenticity is replaced by abundant, constructed imagery, which has become more effectual in commodifying culture than legitimizing it. This authority of black masculinity and manhood is contained within the marketed spectacle; and, consequently, remains outside the hands of those most marked by the commodified identity - black men. Bill Yousman in “Blackophilia and Blackophobia: White Youth, the Consumption of Rap Music, and White Supremacy” (2003) notes the lacking instrumentality of black men in authoring a commodified, hypermediated black masculinity:

“Thus, when it comes to White exchange and use of Black popular culture such as gangsta rap, whether or not the images represent the life experience of most Blacks is immaterial. What is more important is not authenticity but the appearance of authenticity.” (Yousman, p. 378)

In the case of the spectacle and under the reign of capitalism, the handling of an essentialized black masculinity is taken out of the hands of the gangsta rapper and into those of an elusive Other -- an Other possibly figureheaded by the Armani suit-donning Madison Avenue type; however, an Other driven by the “unreal”, unseen and intangible narratives and institutions of society and capitalism. Ironically, within the rap realm, the perception of agency in the self-authorship of black masculinity and blackness is an unequivocal driving force. Rappers strive to be the ‘realest’, while accusing rival MCs of being ‘fake’ and ‘phony.’ The careers of some of rap music’s biggest celebrities are founded and buttressed on this ideology of authenticity, often working to mask the commodifying and capitalist dynamic lurking underneath. For instance, Jay-Z grew to fame while rapping about the perils of growing up in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant, while 50 Cent’s popularity came about after his claims of surviving nine bullet wounds after a gang shootout:

“The influence of market consumption on rap artistry is patently denied by the oft- repeating assertion of street authenticity. This refutation not only obscures corporate power, but it reifies a danger social equation. As rappers depict themselves as prowling ‘niggas’, their popularity, as I mentioned before, relies on their ‘authenticating’ these performances.” (Watts, 1997, p. 56)

While these accounts of hypermasculine authority in the inner city helped propel Jay-Z, 50 Cent and numerable other rap artists to notoriety, they also helped to propel a hypermasculine black male caricature, a persona purportedly necessary for survival in the inner city, into the mainstream spectacle, where its authorship and reappropriation are inconspicuously out of their hands. This inauthentic authenticity of black manhood is reiterated by the hypermediated spectacle; and, in today’s capitalist marketing of “cool”, this version of black manhood is essentialized by the mainstream through reiteration and repetition. Yousman highlights the dynamic of white rappers emulating a mediated phallocentric and violent black masculineness:

“...A White rapper as a ‘celebration of black maleness,’ suggesting that the sentiments expressed by the lyrics, although written and performed by a White male, are somehow indicative of a certain essential quality of Black masculinity. Thus, even when it is Whites who are glorifying violence and hatred, Blackness can still be located as the source of this venom.” (Yousman, p. 380)

The emulative dynamic of a spectacular black machismo does not end at the White rapper, many white youth find a sort of melancholic refuge in rap’s hypermasculine identity. Melancholic due to its seemingly simultaneous disavowal and exoticism, this refuge operates on the notions of an authoritative authenticity: “For White boys and young men, in particular, stereotypes of violent Black masculinity may be particularly enticing objects of identification as they speak to both their doubts about White identity...and to their desires to rebel through projecting an image of danger-tinged cool.” (Yousman, p. 380). This urge to disidentify with an equally constructed “whiteness” perpetuates the concept of black masculinity as inherently threatening to the mainstays of society, e.g., family, welfare and peace. Yet, the hypermediated black masculinity of rap sells; and, thusly, its maintenance has been taken over by the media.

5. Selling the Hypermasculine Black Man.

While trekking towards self-construction and self-definition, rap culture fell prey to mass media, an ostensible manifestation of Debord’s spectacle. Mass media works under the auspices of divertissement; yet, ultimately serves the spectacle, helping to perpetuate underlying and latent societal institutions. Murali Balaji in “Owning Black Masculinity: The Intersection of Cultural Commodification and Self-Construction in Rap Music Videos” (2009) highlights the influence of mass media in the construction of a certain black masculinity: “The media’s role in cultivating Black male identity is no longer viewed as secondary, especially when mediated representations of identity are largely shaped by the economics of mass media and, to a certain extent, by the ideologies of media owners.” (Balaji, p. 21)

However, the mass media’s perpetuation of the homophobic, misogynist, violent Black male through rap culture does not necessitate a large arsenal of tactics. Indeed, the narrative of the violent, menacing black male has long imbued society’s notions of black men; and, within the spectacle, utilizing simple, essentialized cues is the most ostensible means by which to perpetuate the organicness of the ill-intentioned black masculine male: “In many rap videos, the performance of Black masculinity is predicated upon notions of authenticity, yet most of these depictions have been static, relying on grounded assumptions and stereotypes of Black male behavior.” (Balaji, 2009, p. 23-24)

Devoid of the intricacies of cultural performance, rap artists perform a balancing act between an “innate”, essentialized performativity and one that nears parody. In other words, the violent black male as divertissement in rap culture may indeed perpetuate both racial and gender ideologies through the use of essentialized, spectacular imagery. If one takes the hypermasculine black male caricature, one should examine the dual modality such a performance, as outline by Judith Butler in Gender Trouble (1990):

“Parody by itself is not subversive, and there must be a way to understand what makes certain kinds of parodic repetitions effectively disruptive, truly troubling, and which repetitions become domesticated and recirculated as instruments of cultural hegemony. A typology of actions would clearly not suffice, for parodic displacement, indeed, parodic laughter, depends on a context and reception in which subversive confusions can be fostered.” (Butler, 1990, p. 189)

6. 'Bullets and Bottle Poppin'': Commodifying Hypermasculinity and 'Spectacular Consumption' - 50 Cent's "Many Men (Wish Death).

To delve into an empirical analysis of hypermasculinity as personified in rap culture, one need only turn to highly popular and highly divisive New York rapper 50 Cent. Born on the south side of Jamaica, Queens, 50 Cent touts his turbulent past as a badge of honor in today’s rap landscape. Often citing his survival after being shot nine times as a testament to his inner-city agility, 50 Cent lived the afflicted life that pushed rap culture into the limelight. An orphan at eight years old, 50 peddled crack cocaine during the height of its epidemic in the 1980s. Yet, street credibility and black authenticity gave way as the mechanisms of the corporate machine took shape; and, inasmuch, the ostensible cues used to label the violent, hypermasculine “bad boy” within 50 Cent’s videos are far removed from the realities of the streets that they so readily depict. Through a seemingly contrived credibility, alongside calculating use of imagery, rap artists like 50 Cent utilize rap culture as a discursive domain, as a means to validate the hypermasculine regime of black culture that they deem necessary to survive on the streets.


To examine the manner in which rap culture, especially rap music videos, glorifies a certain hypermasculine black essentialism in a seemingly perfunctory manner, I turn to 50 Cent’s music video for his 2003 single “Many Men (Wish Death)”, a sort of visual autobiography of 50 Cent’s life in South Jamaica, Queens. The video revolves around 50 Cent’s infamous shooting outside a bodega that left him wounded nine times, depicting through a series of timelines and imagery his eventual revenge. The music video begins with a preview rating slide a la the Motion Picture Association of America, or MPAA, except, this film “has been approved for all audiences by the Ghetto Streets of America”. However, more importantly, viewers are warned that what follows “Doesn’t Get Any Realer.”


The video begins with 50 Cent’s distinctive voice, over no audio track, announcing: “We both came up on the gritty streets of Jamaica, Queens...Sorry it had to end this way.” In this statement, 50 Cent addresses his commonality with his adversary, their inner-city environment and station. Yet, this camaraderie of growing up within the “gritty” backdrops of Queens is quickly challenged by a perpetuated black male propensity for violence and hypermasculine authority with the following seen, two guys inside of a car, wrought with hypermasculine energy and anxious to shoot 50 Cent, who awaits inside the nearby bodega. The quick, jolty cinematography depicts a certain rawness of the spectacle, while the poor lighting and glare depicts the ominous nature of the events happening in front of the viewer. The performer’s quick dialogue matches the threatening atmosphere: “You crazy, I’m ready to fuck this clown, son!,” one of the actors is heard saying. In swift sequence, 50 Cent walks out of the bodega to the duo who begin shooting. After one audible gunshot noise, the shots are replaced by the noise of champagne corks popping, setting up the parallel dynamic that runs throughout the video, the ideology that the hypermasculine violence of black men as depicted in rap culture runs parallel to a certain renarrativization of the American Dream, one based largely on what Watts terms “spectacular consumption.”


According to Watts, depictions of overt and ostentatious consumption in rap culture serve as an extension of an American Dream predicated on tireless consumerism; an extension that works both to perpetuate the elusive mythicism of the American Dream and to legitimize ‘street life’ as a viable avenue towards reaching this arguably unrealizable Dream: “In a moving way, then, gangsta rap articulates an important perspective on the sad stasis of discharged personhood - the cultivated refusal by a cannibalistic consumer society to own up to its inability to meet its fabulous promises of livelihood.” (Watts, 1997, p. 53)


Moreover, the “spectacular consumption” of rap culture may work to legitimize heternormative and hypermasculine ideologies within both the black community and the mainstream by depicting the utility of hypermasculinity in attaining wealth, status and respect -- ostensible manifestations of the American Dream. “My point is not simply that these artists exemplify a ‘street’ orientation in their artistry and in their lives, but that there exists a spectacularly symbiotic relationship between the dictates of the street code and an energetic American consumerism.” (Watts, 1997, p.50)

In the music video to “Many Men (Wish Death)”, the juxtaposition of celebratory champagne bottle-popping alongside a theatrical, slow-paced drive-by shooting creates a narrative that asserts hypermasculine violence as an operable means towards abundant consumption as dictated by the American Dream. The music video to “Many Men (Wish Death)” is replete with unabashed depictions of dramatized violence; however, the authenticity by which rap culture is ostensibly driven attempts to challenge the demarcation between real life in ‘the hood’ and make-believe. And, as aforementioned, rap music and rap music videos, as part of Debord’s spectacle, need not prove its authenticity for its authenticity lies within the spectacle, within rap’s hypermediated audiovisual culture. Inasmuch, rap culture’s perceived authenticity allows it great authority over the regulation and maintenance of various racial and gender ideologies to which both black culture and the mainstream prescribe. Moreover, Yousman purports that rap music’s ‘perceived real’ within the spectacle may produce very tangible results:

“...One could make the argument that the cultural industries’ relentless marketing of Black male violence and corruption in television, films, and popular music makes a clear and consistent contribution to a social reality in which Black men are shot by police without provocation, people of color are jailed at rates far exceeding the incarceration rates of White criminals...” (Yousman, 2003, p. 382)

7. 'When Thug Goes White': White Rappers & Black Hypermasculinity - Yelawolf.

The hypermasculine dynamic of rap culture as ‘hustler’ or ‘thug’ predicates its necessity through incessant reiteration in a realm of hyperreality. Inasmuch, its governance of hegemonic racial and gender ideologies stems beyond black culture. The garish, conspicuous cues used to mediate hypermasculinity in rap culture is readily emulated; and, more importantly, its emulation is ostensibly viewed as one step closer to the realization of status, “spectacular consumption” and livelihood.


White rappers, such as Eminem and his newest protege Yelawolf, purposefully don the hypermasculine cues that seemingly drive heternormative and misogynistic ideologies in the black community as a means to garner status and authority within the rank and file of rap culture. However, white male rappers are ostensibly not beholden to the self-prescribing definitions of manhood within the black community, ultimately highlighting a black hypermasculine ideal as constructed within the architecture of the mediated spectacle of rap. And, according to Yousman, the blame for rap’s hypermasculine ideals lies on the shoulders of the black community, even when its manifested in a white rapper.


Yelawolf evinces rap’s idealized hypermasculinity through particularly different, yet equally successful imagery. Unlike 50 Cent and many other rappers who called dangerous inner city neighborhoods home, Yelawolf is from small-town Alabama. Thus said, the societal malaise of the inner city may be effectively transposed for that of the rural south. Similar to 50 Cent’s “Many Men (Wish Death), the mechanisms of hypermasculine violence drive Yelawolf’s music video for “Pop The Trunk”; however, images of a small, poverty-stricken Alabama town replace those of a Queens, New York neighborhood.


Against the backdrop of a nighttime bonfire, Yelawolf proclaims: “This ain’t a figment of my imagination. Buddy, this is where I live - ‘Bama.” Yelawolf, like many rappers, maintains the ‘realness’ of his lyrics and the imagery presented to the viewer in his music video. Yet, this ‘realness’ of overt, unabashed violence in the hypermediated sphere becomes seemingly an innocuous entertainment commodity to the viewer.Additionally, Yelawolf’s persona may be accentuated by a drive within the spectacle to commodify imagery of poor, small-town Alabama in voyeuristic fashion for the mainstream. Yelawolf’s “Kickin’” video melds images of rural hardship, imagery of an all-Americanness reminiscent of the Southern small town and seemingly obligatory “spectacular consumption”, coupled with lyrics like: “...Wasting gun shells like Bush in Baghdad.”

8. A Final Thought.

While a hypermasculine, violent facade may seem compulsory in the realm of rap music, Yousman argues that these essentialized images may merely be a vehicle for communicating more meaningful messages: “These artists often disguise ultraconservative messages about fearing and hating difference, worship of money and material possessions, masculine power, and individual aggrandizement beneath images and postures that seem to represent defiance and dissent.” (Yousman, 2003, p. 383)

However, in today’s hypermediated world, the imagery becomes the real within the spectacle; and, inasmuch, many underlying societal critiques within today’s rap music may fall victim to the phallocentric machismo imagined in aspects of the rap spectacle. Indeed, rap music is a malleable cultural form that has been reappropriated in numerable fashion, many of which do not buttress hegemonic racial, gender and consumerist ideologies. However, the commodification of rap music and the hypermasculine ‘gangsta’ persona may highlight the constructedness of rap’s authenticity within the hypermediated spectacle of popular culture, as well as the constructedness of the essential hypermasculine black manhood perpetuated by ‘gangsta’ rap culture’s appeal to legitimacy.

9. References & Courtesies.

Balaji, M. (2009). Owning black masculinity: The intersection of cultural commodification and self-construction in rap music videos. Communication, Culture & Critique, 2, 21.

Butler, J. (1990). Gender trouble. New York; London: Routledge.

Debord, G. Society of the spectacle. 1967. Translation: Black & Red (1977). <http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/debord/society.htm>

Gray, H. (1995). Black masculinity and visual culture. Callaloo, 18(2), 401.

Johnson, E. P. (2003). The specter of the black fag: Parody, blackness and the Hetero/Homosexual B(r)others. Journal of Homosexuality, , 217.

Munoz, J. E. (1999). Disidentifications: Queers of color and the performance of politics. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Oware, M. (2011). Brotherly love: Homosociality and black masculinity in gangsta rap music. Journal of African American Studies, 15, 22.

Watts, E. K. (1997). An exploration of spectacular consumption: Gangsta rap as cultural commodity. Communication Studies, 48(1), 42.

Yousman, B. (2003). Blackophilia and blackophobia: White youth, the consumption of rap music, and white supremacy. Communication Theory, 13(4), 366.

9.1 Video Courtesies

(From Top to Bottom)

"Many Men (Wish Death)". 50 Cent (2003). Shady Records, Aftermath Records, Interscope Records. Accessed May 7, 2011.

"Pop The Trunk". Yelawolf (2010). Ghet-O-Vision, Interscope Records. Accessed May 7, 2011.

"Kickin'". Yelawolf (2007). Sony BMG Music. Accessed May 8, 2011.

9.2 Photo Courtesies

(From Top to Bottom) (Accessed: May 8, 2011)

1. http://www.thekaoseffect.com/dj-rik-ducci-presents-chuckies-dickies-gangsta-rap-mix/
2. http://www8.georgetown.edu/centers/cndls/applications/postertool/index.cfm?fuseaction=poster.display&posterID=2396
3. http://connect.in.com/mapplethorpe/photos-1-1-1-b2aeff131dec78fc5c58694b17d09583.html
4. http://promotionalcdsinglesv2.blogspot.com/2010_10_01_archive.htm
5. http://traderrock.blogspot.com/2010/10/grandmaster-flash-and-furious-five.html
6. http://gossiponthis.com/2009/04/02/lil-wayne-covers-april-16-2009-rolling-stone-magazine/
7. http://ssevillincoln.deviantart.com/art/Rap-Album-Sales-Infographic-188926166

10. Notes.

In Disidentifications, Jose Munoz argues that: "Counterpublics, for Fraser, 'contest[ed] the exclusionary norms of the 'official' bourgeois public sphere, elaborating alternative styles of political behavior and alternative norms of public speech." Fraser points to the significance of subaltern counterpublics for women, people of color, gay men and lesbians, and other subordinated groups." (Munoz, 1999, p. 147)