How do rappers address the internet? I’ve identified five broad trends: embracing the internet as an educational and performative space; dismissing social platforms as fake, inauthentic places of activity (usually contrasted with a ‘real’, ‘offline’ life); viewing the web as an arena for confrontation or disrespect, often mockingly so; using social networking sites to pursue or maintain sexual relationships; and criticising the internet as a source of privacy violations or producing negative psychological effects. As an introductory analysis, this look at how song lyrics implicate online practices, digital technologies, and specific platforms enables a clearer picture of artists’ and listeners’ contextual understandings of the internet and its place in everyday social life.
My book, How Music Empowers: Listening to Modern Rap and Metal is published today by Routledge (Taylor & Francis). This book was written before the Digital Flows project began, and will be of interest to hip-hop listeners and creatives, as well as popular music academics more generally. Here’s the blurb: How Music Empowers argues that … Read more
For the first post on lofi hip hop before and during COVID-19, please see here. Lofi as a genre, and its antecedents To what extent can lofi hip hop be considered a genre, and to what extent do its producers, curators, and listeners participate in a virtual community? At present, there is a broad understanding … Read more
Introduction In the past, I have joked that I do not trust anyone whose YouTube suggestions do not include lofi hip hop radio – beats to relax/study to. Since the start of the COVID-19 global pandemic, as we (privileged sheltered) have receded to our homes to continue day-to-day life, leisure, and work, we have adopted … Read more
Introduction This blog post examines YouTube comments on ‘WAP’, performed by Cardi B and featuring Megan Thee Stallion. The aim is to demonstrate some of the data collection and thematic analysis methods that inform the Digital Flows research project, so it can be considered a small pilot study of sorts. In what follows, I’ll introduce … Read more
This 32-minute video is a recorded talk given in the UCC Department of Music (opening the academic year’s Speaker Series) on 22nd October 2020. It serves as an introduction to the project for an academic audience in music studies. The talk covers three things. First, it reviews how music scholars have approached the Internet in … Read more
Welcome to the project website. Throughout the lifespan of the research programme, I am keen to provide updates on progress, describe the methodology, and mark particular milestones. This site will be used for such blog posts. I also plan to explain how the research unfolds and where data can be accessed, in the spirit of … Read more