Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

Degree Name



African-American Studies


This study examined the language of Hip-Hop songs and ideology of the artists as reflected through their songs.

The study was based on the theory that Hip-Hop or rap songs are legitimate artforms because of their use of poetic elements such as figuration, figures of sound, symbolism, and ambiguity.

The study recorded and interpreted the lyrics of a few current rap songs for the purpose of investigating their poetical and ideological elements.

The researcher found signification battles by some rap artists as the best examples of songs which express the richness and complexity of Hip-Hop music.

The researcher found that both Hip-Hop music lyrics and standard poetry have many similarities, but also have a few different features which enhance their uniqueness.

The conclusions drawn from the findings suggest that the main reason many critics do not consider Hip-Hop or rap music an artform, is that they either compare the music to something extremely different, or they simply do not take the time to listen to its songs. Rap Music is an artform that expresses poetic elements and utilizes electronic devices, thus making it a Postmodernist popular artform. Through the research, the researcher showed that rap music lyrics also have intense meaning, just like poetry..