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  • Dystopian futurism in contemporary hip-hop music: representation of future as political conceptualization of present

Student
Title
Supervisor
Faculty
Educational Programme
Final Grade
Year of Graduation
Nikita Rovnov
Dystopian futurism in contemporary hip-hop music: representation of future as political conceptualization of present
Cultural Studies
(Bachelor’s programme)
2019
This paper proposes an attempt to analyze the representation of images and narratives of the future in contemporary hip-hop as a political conceptualization of today's social reality. The objectives of the article are to identify the main ways of representing the future in hip-hop music, to find crucial political implications in this representation, and also to explain why in the contemporary hip-hop the future in the vast majority of cases seems to be dystopian. The key theoretical frameworks for this paper are the concepts of afrofuturism, sonic fiction and sonic afro-modernity. To interpret technoskepticism, which exists in contemporary pop music in general, and in hip-hop in particular, the paper also uses the concept of dromology.

Based on the method of discourse analysis and the aforementioned theoretical approaches, this paper interprets the lyrics of various hip-hop artists and demonstrates how these artists construct images of the future in their music in order to make a political statement about current social and political problems of modern society. In addition, the paper also analyzes directly the musical component of hip-hop for the possibility of representing the images of the future in music itself. The result of this study is an explanation of how the representation of the future functions as a political conceptualization of the present in contemporary hip-hop music.

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