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Palgrave Macmillan

The Cultural Impact of Kanye West

ISBN 9781137395818
Publication Date March 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (PDF) Paperback Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

The ability of popular art to offer societal critiques and challenge received ideas has been recognized throughout history. Through rap and hip-hop, composers, singers, and entertainers have recently provided a voice questioning and challenging the sanctioned view of the times. This book offers an in-depth reading of the works and cultural impact of Kanye West. Looking at the moral and social implications of West's words, images, and music in the broader context of Western civilization's preconceived ideas, the contributors consider how West both challenges religious and moral norms and propagates them.

Julius Bailey is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Wittenberg University, USA. He is the editor of Jay-Z: Essays on Hip Hop's Philosopher King (2011) and author of Philosophy and Hip-Hop: Ruminations on Postmodern Cultural Form (2014) and numerous articles on hip-hop pedagogy and social justice issues.

Foreword; Davey D
Preface ; Julius Bailey
1. Now I Ain't Saying He's a 'Crate Digger': Kanye West and the Soul Archive; Mark Anthony Neal
2. Kanye West: Asterisk Genius?; Akil Houston
3. Afrofuturism: The Visual Imagery of Kanye West; Reynaldo Anderson and John Jennings
4. You got Kanyed: Seen But Not Heard; David J. Leonard
5. 'An Examination of the Kanye West Higher Education Trilogy; Heidi R. Lewis
6. 'By Any Means Necessary': Kanye West and the Hypermasculine Construct; Sha'Dawn Battle
7. Kanye West's Sonic Cosmopolitanism; Regina Bradley
8. 'Hard to Get Straight' Kanye West, Masculine Anxiety, Dis-identification; Tim'm West
9. You Can't Stand the Nigger I See!: Kanye West's Analysis of Anti-Black Death; Tommy Curry
10. When Apollo and Dionysus Clash: A Nietzschean perspective on the work of Kanye West"; Julius Bailey
11. The God of the New Slaves or Slave to a Religion and a God?; Monica Miller
12. Trimalchio From Chicago: Flashing Lights & The Great Kanye in West Egg; A.D. Carson
13. Confidently (Non)cognizant of Neoliberalism: Kanye West and the Interruption of Taylor Swift; Nick Krebs
14. Kanye Omari West: Visions of Modernity; Dawn Boeck

Reynaldo Anderson, Harris-Stowe State University, USA
ShaDawn Battle, University of Cincinnati, USA
Dawn Boeck, Texas A and M University, USA
Regina Bradley, Florida State University, USA
A.D. Carson, University of South Carolina, USA
Tommy Curry, Texas A and M University, USA
Akil Houston, Ohio University, USA
John Jennings, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
Nicholas Krebs, Purdue University, USA
David J. Leonard, Washington State University, USA
Heidi Lewis, Colorado College, USA
Monica R. Miller, Lewis and Clark University, USA
Mark Anthony Neal, Duke University, USA
Tim'm West, Artist and Activist


"Provocateur, egotist, sage, and artist, no figure in the past decade of popular culture has reflected and defined the zeitgeist better than Kanye West. This collection lays bare the tangle of complexities and contradictions that have made the artist and the art indispensable to our era and proves that if game recognizes game, wisdom does too." - Jelani Cobb, author of The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress "If Julius Bailey was a song, he would be that surprise banger DJ Red Alert drops around one in the morning as the party is at its peak. He is humbly one part scholar and two parts philosopher, yet all hip-hop. Respected for his integrity as a cultural critic and archivist, it's no surprise that, like a master beat maker finding the perfect sample, he was ahead of the curve when he proposed to explore the cultural impact of Kanye West . . . but right on time." - Toni Blackman, US Hip Hop Ambassador
"The Cultural Impact of Kanye West is a much-needed addition in today's diluted hip-hop cultural criticism. By deeming West, his chameleon persona, and iconic brand worthy of scholarly examination, this book takes us on a philosophical odyssey like no other in the modern academy." Rahiel Tesfamariam, founder and Editor-in-Chief, Urban Cusp
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