Marketing MCs: South Asian American rappers negotiate image, audience, artistic control, and capital

Nitasha Tamar Sharma*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article analyzes how political rappers negotiate the limitations and possibilities of capitalism and commodification through an analysis of their marketing strategies. I examine the obstacles shared by four South Asian American rappers (their image as non-blacks, ideal audiences and audience expectations, artistic control, and procuring the capital to produce music) and assess the limitations and opportunities of their diverging marketing strategies. Some artists developed a corporate infrastructure to pursue an ethnic marketing approach while others remained independent and targeted an underground audience. These MCs' engagements with capitalism reflect their social identities, approach to hip hop, and politics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)637-658
Number of pages22
JournalPopular Music and Society
Volume36
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Music

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