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Black Women as Listeners of Hip-Hop Music Open Access

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This thesis investigates what Black undergraduate women understand and take away from Hip-Hop music. Highlighting their matrix of domination and recognizing their intersecting identities, this thesis shows how identity and music work together in the listening experience of Black women, thus emphasizing how they invest this music with social value. The following questions are answered in this research: What does Hip-Hop mean to Black female students at an elite university? How do these Black female students experience and perceive Hip-Hop music? A basic interpretive design with focus groups was used to execute this study. Three focus groups consisting of six to seven participants per group, totaling 19 participants, were conducted. Findings included that the background of each participant influenced what Hip-Hop means to them. Overall, Hip-Hop music was valued by participants and listened to for many reasons of sociological relevance, including its influence of political consciousness and colorism. Future studies should explore the how different demographic groups experience and perceive Hip-Hop, including how diverse educational backgrounds may influence perception.

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