Hip Hop Voices in the era of Mass Incarceration: An examination of Kendrick Lamar and The Black Lives Matter Movement
The United States has many problems currently, the most persistent of which is the issue of race, and the problem of Mass Incarceration. This thesis addresses what Mass Incarceration is, as well as developing a theoretical understanding of how to overcome Mass Incarceration through the music of Kendrick Lamar and The Black Lives Matter Movement. This thesis presents the questions: What is the era of Mass Incarceration? How does Kendrick Lamar's music inform the problems of Mass Incarceration? How does The Back Lives Matter Movement use this information to create a solidarity movement against the oppression of African Americans? What does this mean going forward? Creating a synthesis of Mass Incarceration, the music of Kendrick Lamar, and The Black Lives Matter Movement, that overlaps and propels an intersection of culture and activism that inform one another. This all leads to the main takeaway of the thesis, that attempts to provide an interpretive understanding that pop culture, social media, and activism have created a different civil sphere, a Black public sphere that informs and educates through different avenues. All in all this thesis shows that music, social movements, and policy are all interconnected, and the music of Kendrick Lamar and the activism of The Black Lives Matter Movement provide a catalyst for change in the era of Mass Incarceration.