Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

Degree Name



Political Science

First Advisor

Professor Mack H. Jones


This dissertation examined the political philosophy of Hip Hop culture (HC), and whether it qualified as a viable political instrument. The study was based on the premise that in order to determine the existence of a political philosophy, elements that encompass a political must be identifiably located within the HC.

A case study of two organizations that have historically shaped the political ideas of participants in HC was conducted in order to identify the nature of its influence on HC and its consequent development of a political philosophy. In addition, a case study of Underground HC (UHC) was conducted to identify the source of HC’s political philosophy. Sequentially, a case study of Atlanta radio stations which deliver Hip Hop music was also conducted to determine whether these institutions are impediments to the delivery of politicized material. A survey of college students (AUCSI) in the Atlanta University Center (AUC) was conducted. The data gathered allowed the researcher to determine the political ideas of participants, whether they identified the political philosophy with HC and, whether they adhered to, or disregarded its political philosophy. Lastly, the model of a political system designed by David Easton was applied to access the nature of the interactions between HC and the political system.

The researcher found that there is, in fact, a formidable political philosophy within HC. The artists produced such materials, participants can distinguish between political and non political material but in many cases choose to identify with the latter. While Black radio consistently fails to disseminate such materials, the underground attempts to find alternative methods of distribution. Furthermore, the researcher found that adversaries of HC use the political system to censor and control HC.

Signature Location_Supplemental file.pdf (45 kB)
Notice to Users, Transmittal and Statement of Understanding