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Blackface minstrelsy, the nineteenth-century performance practice in which ideas and images of blackness were constructed and theatricalized by and for whites, continues to permeate contemporary popular music and its audience. Harriet J. Manning argues that this legacy is nowhere more evident than with Michael Jackson in whom minstrelsy’s gestures and tropes are embedded. During the nineteenth century, blackface minstrelsy held together a multitude of meanings and when black entertainers took to the stage this complexity was compounded: minstrelsy became an arena in which black stereotypes were at once enforced and critiqued. This body of contradiction behind the blackface mask provides an effective approach to try and understand Jackson, a cultural figure about whom more questions than answers have been generated. Symbolized by his own whiteface mask, Jackson was at once ’raced’ and raceless and this ambiguity allowed him to serve a whole host of others’ needs - a function of the mask that has run long and deep through its tortuous history. Indeed, Manning argues that minstrelsy’s assumptions and uses have been fundamental to the troubles and controversies with which Jackson was beset.
First Published in 2003. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
Traces the origins of Black body politics in the United States and its contemporary manifestations in hip-hop music and film.
In Negro Soy Yo Marc D. Perry explores Cuba’s hip hop movement as a window into the racial complexities of the island’s ongoing transition from revolutionary socialism toward free-market capitalism. Centering on the music and lives of black-identified raperos (rappers), Perry examines the ways these young artists craft notions of black Cuban identity and racial citizenship, along with calls for racial justice, at the fraught confluence of growing Afro-Cuban marginalization and long held perceptions of Cuba as a non-racial nation. Situating hip hop within a long history of Cuban racial politics, Perry discusses the artistic and cultural exchanges between raperos and North American rappers and activists, and their relationships with older Afro-Cuban intellectuals and African American political exiles. He also examines critiques of Cuban patriarchy by female raperos, the competing rise of reggaetón, as well as state efforts to incorporate hip hop into its cultural institutions. At this pivotal moment of Cuban-U.S. relations, Perry's analysis illuminates the evolving dynamics of race, agency, and neoliberal transformation amid a Cuba in historic flux.
Debut albums are among the cultural artefacts that capture the popular imagination especially well. As a first impression, the debut album may take on a mythical status, whether the artist or group achieves enduring success or in rare cases when an initial record turns out to be an apogee for an artist. Whatever the subsequent career trajectory, the debut album is a meaningful text that can be scrutinized for its revelatory signs and the expectations that follow. Please Allow Me to Introduce Myself: Essays on Debut Albums tells the stories of 23 debut albums over a nearly fifty year span, ranging from Buddy Holly and the Crickets in 1957 to The Go! Team in 2004. In addition to biographical background and a wealth of historical information about the genesis of the album, each essay looks back at the album and places it within multiple contexts, particularly the artist’s career development. In this way, the book will be of as much interest to sociologists and historians as to culture critics and musicologists.
That rare thing, an academic study of music that seeks to tie together the strands of the musical text, the industry that produces it, and the audience that gives it meaning... A vital read for anyone interested in the changing nature of popular music production and consumption" - Dr Nathan Wiseman-Trowse, The University of Northampton Popular music entertains, inspires and even empowers, but where did it come from, how is it made, what does it mean, and how does it eventually reach our ears? Tim Wall guides students through the many ways we can analyse music and the music industries, highlighting crucial skills and useful research tips. Taking into account recent changes and developments in the industry, this book outlines the key concepts, offers fresh perspectives and encourages readers to reflect on their own work. Written with clarity, flair and enthusiasm, it covers: Histories of popular music, their traditions and cultural, social, economic and technical factors Industries and institutions, production, new technology, and the entertainment media Musical form, meaning and representation Audiences and consumption. Students' learning is consolidated through a set of insightful case studies, engaging activities and helpful suggestions for further reading.

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