This year is going to be a long one…
During the fall semester, I will be working on three projects: my honors thesis on Psychosocial Politics of Percussion in Hip Hop, a Jazz paper comparing the reception of early Jazz and the reception of Hip-Hop and a paper on the racial and cultural representation in Madonna’s career. So far, for my honors thesis, I will structure it around two books, John Mowitt’s “Percussion: Drumming, Beating, Striking” (Duke University) and Tricia Rose’s “Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America.”
The two-semester-long thesis will look at how perceptions and meanings of the drum in American culture have impacted the perceptions and meanings in Hip-Hop music and dance. The second paper is part of my Jazz: Cultural Touchstone of the 20th Century class and we have listened to speakers like, jazz journalist Larry Blumenfeld, writer for the TV show Treme, Lolis Eric Elie, and musician Bobby Sanabria, give us historical perspective on Jazz, New Orleans and the relationship of Jazz to other music styles like the mambo, salsa and hip hop (ex. clave beat). We also watched this great documentary in class, “From Mambo to Hip-Hop,” about Latino, including Afro-Latino, contribution to the mambo, salsa and hip hop.
The last paper is part of my music capstone class (highest class) and the professor wants everyone to write about Madonna. Personally, I do not love Madonna, but I do love my topic and I do understand that she is a major cultural icon. I will discuss how Madonna’s personal background and her relationships to other races and cultures has impacted her career, how she can more easily benefit from these interactions because of her race and analyze different aspects of her career from her music videos to her interviews to her love affairs.
So, I am going to be swamped, but I will try to enjoy most of it and I will try to keep you all updated on how it is going.