We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

Boxing Obsession and Realness in London Rap: Racism, Temporality, Narcissism

BERROCAL, EMILIO,GIACOMO (2013) Boxing Obsession and Realness in London Rap: Racism, Temporality, Narcissism. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

PDF - Accepted Version


London Rap belongs to the transnational public of hip-hop. As a result of the birth of the genre of the music-video (in the 1980s) and the diffusion of music TV channels like MTV (from the 1990s), hip-hop has become a worldwide public first and foremost because of its visual power. The internet revolution has further expanded the audio-visuality of hip-hop, particularly via the current roles of YouTube and social media. The cognitive change this passage entails, for the younger generations of hip-hoppers, is that the technology of the video has become more commonly used than that of the book to captivate an audience. Yet, as suggested in this thesis, the screen brings to completion the search for visual analogues for words that alphabetic writing, since the birth of philosophy in ancient Greece, developed. If digital audio-visual capitalism declares the crisis of modern nationalism based on print, what I call here the “boxing obsession” – the obsession whereby words need to mean things – is still far from being dead. We observe through interviews, lyrics, speech and music-video analysis how London Conscious Rappers ambiguously relate to the boxing obsession with regards to what concerns the imagination of ethnicities. In viewing the “political correctness” of the dominant discourse as the hypocrisy to unmask, the rappers rebel against the effects the boxing obsession produces, such as police brutality, the crypto-racism of media talk, and everyday racist attacks; but in reifying views of “blackness”, “whiteness” and “Islam”, and in attaching them to specific bodies on the basis of their physical appearance, they struggle to identify the causes. The fieldwork methodology here presented (an “exit from the text”) offers a way for informants and anthropologists to definitively get to grips with the boxing obsession and move forward.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Hip-Hop; Racism; Visual Media; Engaged Anthropology; Philosophy; PhD
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Anthropology, Department of
Thesis Date:2013
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:13 May 2014 11:26

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter