Excerpt

Rap and Religion: Understanding the Gangsta’s God tackles a sensitive and controversial topic: the juxtaposition—and seeming hypocrisy—of references to God within rap music. Hip hop culture and rap music in particular have been condemned for inciting violence, promoting misogyny, and perpetuating racial stereotypes. However, Dr. Ebony A. Utley argues that religion has always been an integral part of the urban environments that birthed rap music and she shows exactly how a God-sanctioned gangsta identity can be empowering. Dr. Utley sources lyrics, videos, award acceptance speeches, magazine and website content, liner notes, and survey data to provide an enlightening, representative account of how and why rappers talk about God.