For a long time, rappers and other artists in the world of Hip Hop have led dual lives: loved and adored by public audiences globally, but largely passed over, if not ignored, by those who might seek to academically understand how and how such music works in the first place. Although rappers' skills are appreciated by millions of fans worldwide, the methods that are used to understand those same talents have not kept pace with the staggering genius of these artists themselves. A thorough explanation of the music genre of rap that updates traditional musical principles in a natural and fitting way is exactly what's needed to correct these differences between public and scholarly opinion. In here introducing such reinventions of well-established tools, like a rethinking of music notation's true purpose, the author poses challenging questions to the public understanding of rap music with an analytical foundation that's firmly built on a corpus of 135 songs from a group of over 50 artists like Eminem, Kanye West, and Jean Grae. Building off of Martin Connor's decade of experience in both the journalism and scholarly arena, the answers that Connor arrives at are likely to be the motivating factors behind any ongoing discourse that tries to explain and describe rap, if not the shaper of such conversations.
Martin E. Connor is a leading musicological expert and journalist on rap music who has contributed interviews, research materials, voiceovers, and articles to Harvard University, the University of Colorado, and has written for HipHopDX, Complex, The Source, and BET. He lives in Waltham, Massachusetts.