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Genre Analysis of the Article by Regina N Bradleys: Re-Imagining Slavery in the Hip-hop Imagination: Summary

4 pages
1013 words
Vanderbilt University
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This article explores the epicurean and hedonistic exploits of the white race against the blacks in a historically woven out slavery narrative. It is a narrative which embraces two types of genres and are both intertwined beautifully to bring out the tale of a race that was oppressed and still is. In a quaint yet familiar manner, Regina has managed to paint into a readers mind, the vivid and horrific ongoings of a then white-dominated society against a beaten, downtrodden yet brave black community.

While using language aesthetics, the author has illustrated some of the ills black people underwent under their white masters inclusive of being ripped and torn to pieces on their master command. In a twisted manner, the author has further managed to explain the nonchalant way in which the white people from the Southern parts of America would camouflage the evil doings and happenings taking place right under their noses with portrays of their well kept and groomed front porches.

Regina has further illustrated how powerful the incorporation and use of hip-hop lyrical statements, its rappers, the message and musical annotation has had in exemplifying how sinister and bestial slavery was. In a nutshell, therefore, this article has been written to highlight the ruthless, merciless and brutal effects of slavery on a fellow human being and how damaging they are thus seeking for sanity and ramifications on the same.


This article critically analyses and discusses two genres and that is a slave oriented narrative and the use of hip-hop music as artistic accolades. Right from the start, the author commences by introducing a case study of an animated film whereby a black man by the name Noah is being chased by a pack of dogs belonging to his white master (Bradley, 2016. p. 3). The title of the film is Underground (2016) and is said to have a jarring opening because of the use of rapper Kanye Wests song entitled Black Skinhead (2013). The use of this song is subtle and precise as it enables the spectator to identify with Noahs acts of hopelessness and desperation.

By so doing, the above-mentioned film supports and demonstrates the aspect of the slave narrative and hip-hop blend of genres. It is also important to state that case studies in the article should be able to question and challenge their position and relevance in the chosen genres. To decide whether it the article holds elements of a narrative and hip-hop, it is mandatory for one to decipher and understand what genres are.

Genres are usually created through the ideology that centers around the concept of gathering specific and particular defining elements resulting in a group or type of films. In a broad sense, Tim Dirks interpreted film genres as found in Reginas article as

various forms of identifiable types, categories, classifications or groups of films that are recurring and have similar, familiar or instantly-recognizable patterns, syntax, filmic techniques or conventions - that include one or more of the following: settings (and props), content and subject matter, themes, mood, period, plot, central narrative events, motifs, styles, structures, situations, recurring icons (e.g., six-guns and ten-gallon hats in Westerns), stock characters (or characterizations), and stars. (Dirks, 2002 n.p.).

A critical look at the article reveals a myriad of points and do concur with Dirks definition. For instance, the Re-Imagining Slavery In The Hip-hop Imagination narrative has a character, plot, setting, theme, style, structure, form, audience and discourse. Rhetorical issues of pathos, ethos, and logos have equally been addressed as the viewer is certain to be moved at certain occurrences within the article.

In terms of structure, the article has elaborated on how the use of instrumentation and the rappers hollering has laid out a strategic design whereby the reader is able to understand the message conveyed. In this case study, the intended message would be the hollers produced by the rapper parallel literary to the characters increasing and heightened frustration and anxiety (Bradley, 2016. p.4). The character in this case Noah is trying to find a way out of the woods and escape the white mans dogs which in a larger society also symbolizes a blacks man need for freedom in the world today.

Speaking of the above-mentioned ethos, pathos, and logos, a reader is able to be emotional as was the case with D Artagnan an escapee and slave who begs for his life from his white master Candie. This is a scene depicted from Django Unchained a film which yet again unmasks the cruelty of the white master to his black slave. D Artagnan is killed in a similar way as Noah was in Underground only, in this case, there were black witnesses to his death (Bradley, 2016. p.8). this scene elicits feelings of anger, rage, pity, and vengeance especially from a black person as the atrocity done to the character in question is unimaginable.

In this scenario also, the use of hip-hop is significant as voices of rappers Tupac Shakur, James Brown and Rick Ross are heard. In this case, however, they are here to bring about the notion of machismo and masculine pride for the black community. Their voices serve as a wakeup call to the black community to stand up and fight against the vice of slavery and asking the slaves to banish and break the chains of slavery.

In conclusion, the two genres are similar as each is a complement of the other. Regina has used both the narrative and hip-hop genres as complements of one another. It is the case that the reader gets to see just how inter-twined these genres are. Hip-hop supplements the narrative by creating the required solemn, somber mood that is required in articulating of the message. The tone, on the other hand, is critical as it is against the poor treatment of the black man and is seen to be articulating that also. Both need each other for a powerful literary message to be passed.




Dirks, Tim. "Film genres." Retrieved January 29 (2002): 2003.


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