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Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)
Type of Culminating Activity
Thesis - Boise State University Access Only
Master of Arts in Communication
erin d. mcclellan, Ph.D.
Manda Hicks, Ph.D.
John G. McClellan, Ph.D.
Music provides a platform for personal expression while also containing the ability to persuade and influence. Hip-hop music has a growing reputation of being both explicit and revolutionary, often challenging existing social norms as part of its projected culture. While the American Dream narrative projects American culture as a universally attainable state, such a master narrative is simultaneously critiqued as a one-dimensional understanding of “success” that is more easily accessible for some people than others. I argue hip-hop culture fosters acts of resistance that challenge this master American Dream narrative by promoting an alternate conception of “success” accessible to a population often not included in the master American Dream narrative’s depiction of “success.” Through a close textual analysis of hip-hop artist Notorious B.I.G.’s song “Juicy” I show how an alternate Hip-hop American Dream narrative is created. Discussing this alternative American Dream narrative through the lens of cultural projection, I explain how Notorious B.I.G.’s song “Juicy” rejects the master American Dream narrative’s notions of “success” in favor of an alternative Hip-hop American Dream narrative that depicts black and lower-income Americans, in particular, as capable of succeeding in different terms. It further produces what I call a “pedagogy of hip-hop,” which challenges this alternative narrative of success to provide hip-hop culture with a version of success that goes beyond just “oppressing the oppressor.” Ultimately this analysis reveals a need to question both the one-dimensionality of the master American Dream narrative as a guide for a multi-dimensional America while questioning the wisdom of competing master narratives in hip-hop culture as helpful alternatives to the often perceived inaccessible notions of success most frequently referred to as “the” American Dream.
Poteet, Kinzi Anne, "“It Was All A Dream”: A Close Textual Analysis of Notorious B.I.G.’s “Juicy” as an Alternate American Dream Narrative" (2015). Boise State University Theses and Dissertations. 940.