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Chicano Rap

Gender and Violence in the Postindustrial Barrio

By Pancho McFarland

Publication Year: 2008

Powered by a driving beat, clever lyrics, and assertive attitudes, rap music and hip hop culture have engrossed American youth since the mid-1980s. Although the first rappers were African Americans, rap and hip hop culture quickly spread to other ethnic groups who have added their own cultural elements to the music. Chicano Rap offers the first in-depth look at how Chicano/a youth have adopted and adapted rap music and hip hop culture to express their views on gender and violence, as well as on how Chicano/a youth fit into a globalizing world. Pancho McFarland examines over five hundred songs and seventy rap artists from all the major Chicano rap regions—San Diego, San Francisco and Northern California, Texas, and Chicago and the Midwest. He discusses the cultural, political, historical, and economic contexts in which Chicano rap has emerged and how these have shaped the violence and misogyny often expressed in Chicano rap and hip hop. In particular, he argues that the misogyny and violence of Chicano rap are direct outcomes of the “patriarchal dominance paradigm” that governs human relations in the United States. McFarland also explains how globalization, economic restructuring, and the conservative shift in national politics have affected Chicano/a youth and Chicano rap. He concludes with a look at how Xicana feminists, some Chicano rappers, and other cultural workers are striving to reach Chicano/a youth with a democratic, peaceful, empowering, and liberating message.

Published by: University of Texas Press


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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. ix-x

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A HIP-HOP PROJECT [contains image plates]

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pp. 1-13

In 1980 my cousin Pete Cortez introduced me to the Sugar Hill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight.” It was unlike anything I had heard or seen. The cover to the fourteen-minute extended-play single was eye-catching, with a bright orange, yellow, and red psychedelic cylinder shape on a sky-blue background. The...

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1 READING CHICANO RAP: The Patriarchal Dominance Paradigm in the Postindustrial Barrio

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pp. 14-34

Chicano rap discussions of violence and gender can be understood only within the larger context of U.S. culture and history, contemporary popular culture, globalization and de-industrialization, the neoconservative political system dominated by White males, and Mexican American culture and history. Fantastic stories of murder and criminality told by Chicano rappers must be read...

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2 CHICANO RAP PRIMER: A Guide to Artists and Genres

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pp. 35-61

Chicanos have been rapping for more than two decades. Over these twenty-odd years, Chicanos have sampled a wide range of music; rapped about everything from gangbanging to peace and love in the barrio; developed numerous lyrical and musical styles; rapped in English, Spanish, variations of code-switching, slang, and cal

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3 MACHOS Y MALAS MUJERES: The Gendered Image

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pp. 62-78

In the spring of 2000 I began a series of focus groups and workshops with Chicana/o youth from Colorado Springs, Colorado. My first group included approximately a dozen youths ordered by local judges to attend classes and workshops organized by Ways Out Academy Inc. as part of their sentences for various criminal convictions. I had the good fortune to speak with...

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pp. 79-93

Several Chicanas have recorded songs and CDs over the past decade. Their lyrics cover a broad range of themes. Their styles, delivery, and music differ widely. From Ms. Sancha’s explicit lyrics over heavy funk bass and drum production to Sista D’s fun and party lyrics accompanied by Midwestern and Southern musical production to JV’s straight hip hop, Chicanas show depth and diversity in their music. While they speak on many topics...

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5 VIOLENCE IN CHICANO RAP: Mirror of a Belligerent Society

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pp. 94-114

The rhetorics of violence in Chicano rap are part of the spread of a culture of violence in the United States (Giroux 1996). To properly understand the numerous images of violence in Chicano rap lyrics, we need to properly situate them within the contemporary violent society in which we live. I use articulation...

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pp. 115-132

The Chicano rap and hip-hop explosion has taken place during a time of crisis in our barrios and throughout our world. Capitalist globalization has devastated developing countries,1 while economic restructuring has led to increased poverty, epidemic incarceration rates, repressive criminal and immigration legislation, and disenfranchisement...

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pp. 133-149

Misogyny and violent hypermasculinity seem to be everywhere in the late capitalist period. The cultural field in the postindustrial United States is dominated by hyperviolent images and attitudes and hypersexualized and exploited bodies, especially female bodies. The capitalist cultural and economic order has commodified and devalued life, sexuality, and human relationships...


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pp. 151-167


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pp. 169-188


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pp. 189-198

E-ISBN-13: 9780292794221
E-ISBN-10: 0292794223
Print-ISBN-13: 9780292718029
Print-ISBN-10: 0292718020

Page Count: 216
Illustrations: 13 color photos in section
Publication Year: 2008

OCLC Number: 311070824
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Chicano Rap

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Rap (Music) -- History and criticism.
  • Violence in music.
  • Mexican Americans -- Music -- History and criticism.
  • Sex in music.
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