Bounce: Rap Music and Local Identity in New Orleans, 1980-2005 Open Access

Miller, Matthew LaFollette (2009)

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Bounce: Rap Music and Local Identity in New Orleans, 1980-2005
Matt Miller
B.A., Emory University, 1992
Advisor: Prof. Allen E. Tullos, Ph.D.
An abstract of
A dissertation submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of Emory
University in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
In American Studies

Bounce: Rap Music and Local Identity in New Orleans, 1980-2005
By Matt Miller
This dissertation offers a detailed, chronological examination of the
evolution of rap in New Orleans. Guided by a phenomenological approach to the
study of local cultural production, it periodizes and analyzes the efforts of
successive and overlapping waves of rappers, DJs, producers, record label
owners, and audiences, who through processes of innovation, collaboration,
contestation and appropriation shaped the local rap scene, style, and narrative
perspective. Based on extensive fieldwork in New Orleans, it uses original
interviews as well as diverse and extensive recorded and print sources. In New
Orleans, the practices and preferences that emerged around rap music can be
understood within the city's history of popular music production and within its
ongoing, wider cultural environment, which includes deeply-rooted traditions
like "second line" parades and Mardi Gras Indians, as well as more quotidian
activities in nightclubs and at neighborhood block parties. The dissertation
examines the way that local identity was negotiated and marketed in the local rap
scene, as well as in the national rap marketplace.

Table of Contents

Table of contents

Introduction (pages 1-21)
1. History, Culture, and Music in New Orleans: From Slavery to the Jazz Era
(pages 22-57)

2. History, Culture, and Music in New Orleans: The 20th Century and Beyond
(pages 58-104)

3. "The City That Is Overlooked": Rap Beginnings (1980-1990) (pages 105-149)

4. Bounce (1991-1994) (pages 150-195)
5. "'Bout It": New Orleans breaking through (1995-2000) (pages 196-243)

6. Stagnation, Decline and the Resurgence of the Local (2001-2004) (pages 244-

Conclusion (pages 274-278)
Works cited (pages 279-304)

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