Beyond gangsta: hip-hop, web culture and racial masking in the musical work of Tyler, The Creator
Marques, Gustavo Souva
University College Cork
Tyler, The Creator (Tyler Gregory Okonma), is an African American rapper, music producer and entrepreneur who has been vigorously challenging tropes of black American masculinity. From chattel slavery to blackface minstrelsy, the African diasporic experience in the West is marked by a series of stigmas, contradictions and dichotomies evidenced in the challenge of being black in a white world. This duplicity denounced and analyzed by scholars such as W.E.B. DuBois and Frantz Fanon informs the theoretical frame of this dissertation but also reflects Tyler’s investments in subverting American racial ideology in his controversial audio-visual performances. Through his participation in and appropriating of skateboarding and web culture, Tyler denies common associations and stereotypes of blackness related to gangsterism which allowed him to become an internet phenomenon at the age of 19 with his music video “Yonkers” (2011). This study analyzes Tyler’s systematic move beyond gangsta through close media analysis and through ethnographic work in and around the black suburbia of Tyler’s upbringing in Southern California.
Hip-hop , Web culture , Critical race theory , Media studies , Skateboard culture , Tyler, the Creator
Marques, G. S. 2021. Beyond gangsta: hip-hop, web culture and racial masking in the musical work of Tyler, The Creator. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.