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Modern Literature Commons

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American Studies

African-American Literature

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“Ab-Soul’S Outro,” “Hiiipower,” And The Vernacular: Kendrick Lamar’S Rap As Literature, Tyler S. Bunzey Apr 2015

“Ab-Soul’S Outro,” “Hiiipower,” And The Vernacular: Kendrick Lamar’S Rap As Literature, Tyler S. Bunzey

Senior Honors Theses

Kendrick Lamar’s “Ab-Soul’s Outro” and “HiiiPower” employ complex patterns of Signifyin(g), testifyin’, and other classical African-American literary tropes in order to construct a nuanced style. Lamar creates a double-voiced text not only within his narrative, but also within the form itself. Lamar plays on rap's unique status in African-American literature as an oral text; it is an extension of the vernacular. Through this oral text, Lamar decentralizes the Eurocentric focus of classical interpretation and qualification of literature to a new Afrocentric perspective that privileges the oral text. These raps are complex, wrapped up in their current ...