Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts


Media Studies


Dr. Keir Keightley


What is the internet? It began as a military research experiment, but the internet has since become a sweeping cultural phenomenon. One of the most prevalent areas of the internet’s cultural dominance is in popular music, and this thesis addresses how the internet is being understood and discussed by popular music artists. I study the works of Grimes and Childish Gambino, two popular music artists who grew up alongside the internet’s rise to cultural dominance and explicitly address this experience as an integral component of their lives and works. I look specifically at discourse surrounding Grimes’ “post-internet” music and Childish Gambino’s expansive conceptual work Because the Internet (2013). This research concludes by addressing how popular music artists like Grimes and Childish Gambino are helping produce the ways in which we understand and discuss the cultural phenomenon of the internet, and how they provide a foundation for future artists and research to build upon.