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Posthuman Rap$
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Justin Adams Burton

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190235451

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190235451.001.0001

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Sonic Blackness and the Illegibility of Trap Irony

Sonic Blackness and the Illegibility of Trap Irony

(p.69) Chapter 3 Sonic Blackness and the Illegibility of Trap Irony
Posthuman Rap

Justin Adams Burton

Oxford University Press

In contrast to Kendrick, trap music seems to exist in an entirely apolitical realm. Trap, a subgenre of rap originating in Atlanta and circulating especially through the US South, glorifies drug trafficking and sounds black in a post-race society that values diversity, not black solidarity. Building on the idea of sonic blackness as theorized by Nina Sun Eidsheim and Loren Kajikawa, I listen closely to the aesthetics of trap and its evolution from TI’s Trap Muzik (2003) to Desiigner’s “Panda” (2015) to consider how trap sounds black and how this sonic blackness produces an ironic politics that exists out of earshot of the mainstream.

Keywords:   sound studies, sonic blackness, Nina Sun Eidsheim, Loren Kajikawa, trap, Future, Mike Will Made-It, Lex Luger, Zaytoven, hip hop

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