Hip Hop Music and (Reading) the Narrative Soundtracks of New Black Realist Cinema

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Hip hop is noise. It is a composite binding of contemporary, postmodern technologies and orally based ideologies that disrupts the normative and traditional characteristics of mainstream media and culture in order to create a space for subcultural revolt and resistance. Nowhere is this more fascinating than in the soundtracks of New Black Realism, African American independent cinema of the 1990s. Drawing on case studies from some of the earliest work of Spike Lee, as the foremost proponent of the genre, this chapter reads the sound and music of these narrative films through fundamental characteristics in hip hop as a postliterate orality, arguing that such an approach allows us to explore the rebellious possibilities of the music as, not just on, the cinematic soundtrack.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Hip Hop Music
EditorsJustin D. Burton, Jason Lee Oakes
Place of PublicationOxford University Press
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780190281113
ISBN (Print)9780190281090
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2019

Publication series

NameThe Oxford Handbook of Hip Hop Music


  • hip hop
  • cinema
  • film
  • music
  • voice
  • sound effects
  • soundscape
  • soundtrack
  • Spike Lee
  • John Singleton


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