Date of Award
School of Communication (SOC)
MA in Communication
The objective of this study was to determine what, if any, effects the contemporary rap video has on the image of African American males. The study sought to determine if there was a connection between the prevailing themes of machismo, materialism and misogyny present in the videos and the negative perception of African American males throughout society. In addition the study focused on how individuals obtain their information about other cultures. It also sought to determine if there was a significant difference in the responses between gender and ethnicity. Researchers have done content analysis on rock and rap music, but few have gone the extra step of including the affects of rap videos. By focusing on the three themes of machismo, materialism, and misogyny this study, unlike previous ones, will attempted to draw a, connection between the images in the videos and the perception of African American males. The study included a brief content analysis of popular rap videos to determine repeating themes. The themes and images described in the content analysis were then formulated into a survey and disseminated to a racially and economically diverse group of adult males and 1 2 females. Convenience and random sampling methods allowed the survey to be distributed via email, network groups and in person. The data was coded and studied to determine if there was a correlation between the images projected in rap videos and the perception of the African American male image. The results were surprising. The majority of individuals claimed that they learn about other cultures from their personal relationships; however, everyone had an opinion about African American males based on the images in rap videos. Most people agreed that the images in the videos were negative and almost never helped to promote a positive image of African American males, but the majority of participants admitted to watching the videos at least on an occasional basis. There was a significant difference in the way men and women admitted to recreating these images. Women resoundingly protested the idea of emulating these images. American entertainment is one of the strongest global exports in the world market. The hip hop and rap culture attributes billions of dollars to that export. With the highly exploited image of the African American males in the contemporary rap video, it would stand to reason that the global perception of African American males has been tainted by the prevailing images within this product. Though several studies have examined the content of rap music, few, if any, have drawn a direction correlation between the images seen in rap videos to the perception that individuals have of African American males. This study seeks to introduce the possibility of a connection and does not seek to attribute the totality of the African American male image to those portrayed in rap videos
Allen, Adrian, "Contemporary Rap Video’s Impact on the Image of African American Males" (2008). Theses (Pre-2016). 57.