Double Consciousness in Kendrick Lamar

An Analysis of W.E.B. Du Bois' Concept of Double Consciousness in the Visual Representation of Hip Hop Culture
 
 
GRIN Verlag
  • 1. Auflage
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  • erschienen am 31. August 2020
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  • 58 Seiten
 
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978-3-346-23621-0 (ISBN)
 
Master's Thesis from the year 2015 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Culture and Applied Geography, grade: 1,5, University of Tubingen (Institut für Literaturwissenschaft), course: Staatsexamen, language: English, abstract: Throughout this paper the question is going to be answered, whether W.E.B. Du Bois' concept of double consciousness can be discerned in contemporary expressions of Hip Hop culture. Furthermore, it is going to be explored how this concept can be visually represented by analyzing Kendrick Lamar's music video to the song Alright from the Album To Pimp a Butterfly. First, a definition of Du Bois' concept of double consciousness is going to be given in order to delineate the characteristics and possible interpretations of it. The concept is going to be defined as an internal conflict that expresses the hardship of reconciling two distinct perspectives and identities into one body. Moreover, formal aspects of The Souls of Black Folk are going to provide evidence for the argument, that Du Bois writing style facilitates the communication of the concept of double consciousness throughout his work. The effects of double consciousness and the importance of cultural expressions in the process of finding one's own cultural identity are also going to be analyzed in more detail in the second chapter of this paper. In order to analyze Kendrick Lamar's music video, a brief introduction to the medium is going to be given. Through Keazor's and Wübbena's work the origins of this medium will be determined and presented. Moreover, the most important technical elements of the music video in general are going to be mentioned as well. Railton and Watson propose in their work Music Video and the Politics of Representation a systematic categorization of music videos, by identifying four different type of music videos: 1. Pseudo-Documentary music video, 2. Art music video, 3. Narrative music video and 4. Staged Performance music video (Railton and Watson). The music video Alright is going to be analyzed by determining how the director Colin Tilley establishes the single scenes in the music video. Firstly, possible thematically coherent segments have to be identified. Through a frame by frame analysis the cinematic techniques and the aesthetics of each segment of the music video are going to be analyzed. Secondly, the song lyrics and their visual representation in the music video are also going to be examined. Thirdly, the concept of double consciousness is going to be identified in Kendrick Lamar's music video by illustrating how double consciousness is visually represented.

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