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Paul Stephen Adey

Paul Stephen Adey

Rap Lyricist and Lecturer in Music Performance at Confetti Institute of Creative Technology, Nottingham Trent University
My critical-creative doctoral thesis, ''Nothing New Under the Sun': Literary Allusion, Intertextuality, and Lyrical Performative Quotation in Hip Hop Lyricism' explores how several rap artists from key eras in hip hop culture have utilised the techniques of literary allusion and intertextuality to impact their work in multiple meaningful ways. The creative component of the thesis (comprising a trilogy of rap LPs) provides a template/framework for future research in these areas through a practice-based, creative-led focus on the use of intertextuality in rap to identify and artistically illustrate the sophisticated uses of these techniques. Case studies included in this thesis focus on: Nas’s use of creative patrilineage (Higgins, 2007) to form modes of lyrical transcendence, epistolic legacy, and religious and thematic allusion (Ch. 1); Kendrick Lamar’s engagement with intertextuality to explore loss and trauma, and his revision of the postmortem sampling trope (Williams, 2013) (Ch. 2); and the technique of lyrical performative quotation through the lyrics of J.I.D., Kemba, Saba, Earl Sweatshirt, and MIKE and Navy Blue (Ch. 3).
Whilst intertextuality in hip hop has been defined in recent years (e.g., Williams, 2013; Diallo, 2015), academic research into how it (alongside literary allusion specifically, and the innovative technique of lyrical performative quotation) is employed artistically to translate modes of vulnerability such as trauma and grief and affect methods of personal and communal catharsis is limited. Using my own understandings and experiences of loss and trauma, I develop upon this research through a critically-informed and deeply personal artistic reflection into universal aspects of the male experience, men’s mental health, and masculinity in contemporary society.

‘NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN’: LITERARY ALLUSION, INTERTEXTUALITY, AND LYRICAL PERFORMATIVE QUOTATION IN HIP HOP LYRICISM: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/49298/1/Paul%20Adey%202023.pdf

Rap lyrics can provide catharsis – both for artists and their fans

Jul 08, 2024 09:19 am UTC| Insights & Views Life

I heard a rappers verse a while ago that stopped me in my tracks. The artist was Kemba and the song, Daemons, featured on the posthumous album Bad Vibes Forever (2019), by the conflicted and gifted artist...

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