Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts


Popular Music and Culture


Dr. Keir Keightley


Conceptualizing and analyzing the hip-hop career and the role of success therein allows us to investigate the long-term shifts in the economic and cultural capitals associated with the genre, and can help us better understand how hip-hop has achieved enduring success and respect. As hip-hop musicians continue to prosper financially and achieve unprecedented levels of success and longevity in the industry, understandings of the hip-hop career have shifted. Hip-hop musicians attempt to translate their cultural capital into financial profit by leveraging their respective personas into marketable brands and lifestyles that act as non-musical, career extending strategies. The thesis investigates how the hip-hop music career commences, the activities and individuals required to nurture a career, and the criteria that ultimately determine success.

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