“Mike Trout When I’m Battin’ Boy”: Unpacking Baseball’s Translation Through Rap Lyrics

in Sociology of Sport Journal
View More View Less
  • 1 University of South Florida
  • 2 University of South Carolina

Baseball and rap music are often not considered culturally or historically synonymous, but a shift appears underway. This research examines how 239 rap lyrics reach across the formerly confined (mostly racialized) boundaries of baseball to engage the sport through its reference to 128 baseball players. A thematic analysis explores how the languages of baseball and rap culture intersect through linguistic translation. The authors develop a broad understanding of the positive and negative “baller” references, and how it could affect the future growth of baseball role models for Black youth athletes. Thus, baseball “text” as a source language translates to rap “text” as a target language to form a commonly constructed language at an intersection of music, sports, and masculinity.

Baseball and rap music are often not considered culturally or historically synonymous. This stems from baseball’s well-traced history of segregation and rap music’s connection to Black America. However, a shift appears underway as walk-up songs for Major League Baseball (MLB) players indicate a glimpse of this culture change. A 2017 survey of available data on the league website (see www.mlb.com) identifies hip-hop as the most popular music genre among MLB players for respective walk-up songs, which introduces them before each time they come up to bat (Rogers-Spatuzzi & Gluck, 2017). For the sake of consistency throughout this article, we interpret hip-hop as rap music, with an understanding that hip-hop historically encompasses various genres (as the literature review outlines), but its most influential style is rap.

Boyd (2008) outlines that baseball tradition is “too confining for those who constitute the hip-hop generation” (p. 9). He contends that baseball’s idle pace of play, “regressive history” and “pastoral spaces” (p. 9) do not align with contemporary goals and aspirations of Black life that are beyond a civil rights search for acceptance into white spaces. If Boyd’s assertion is correct, why then does rap music create a contemporary bond with America’s longest-standing sports pastime through its presence in stadiums and lyrics? This developing relationship occurs through a combination of promotion and performance to target a young audience (McLeod, 2009) across the formerly confined (mostly racialized) boundaries of baseball to engage the sport and its players.

Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout offers an interesting example. A two-time American League Most Valuable Player and seven-time all-star, Trout plays the game as a vaunted “five-tool” player. Trout is also a White outfielder who—by indication of his preference for walk-up songs—enjoys East Coast rap. For example, in 2016, songs by Fat Joe and Remy Ma as well as Desiigner led Trout to home plate. In 2018, Kanye West was Trout’s preference. Trout is also a lyrical reference by Smoke DZA, featuring A$AP Rocky and Cam’ron. In the song, A$AP ends his verse with “Who the pretty nigga smilin’ gold teeth, no medallion?/I can hit south of park, Mike Trout when I’m battin’ boy.” The mix of baseball skills of a White athlete to describe the “game” of a Black rap artist is just one glimpse into a cultural mix occurring between these two formerly mutually exclusive entities.

The purpose of this article is to examine how rap lyrics transcend a primarily white space and population (e.g., baseball players) to a largely absent audience that rap culture often reaches to provide contextual meaning. In addition, how rappers refer to baseball players offers a unique link between the language of baseball and social-deviant gang culture, a recurring theme within the rap music genre, which exemplifies how rap continues to expand further into American culture (Watts, 1997). This is an interesting juxtaposition considering that the demographics of the MLB labor pool in 2017 included a miniscule 7.7% of Black players, the lowest total since 1991 (Lapchick, 2018). While walk-up song data highlights an increasing trend of rap’s popularity across locker rooms, the well-publicized racial divide grounded in baseball’s history remains a long-term concern (Swanson, 2014). Thus, this research provides insight into how rap music might offer a cultural bridge to baseball through its representation of players.

Review of the Literature

Hip-Hop and “Black” Sport

During the 1970s, hip-hop or rap music was founded in New York City accompanied with a style intriguing to youth in search of street wisdom to navigate urban life (Darby & Shelby, 2005). Hip-hop culture included four varying elements of style: break dancing, deejaying (also DJ’n), graffiti, and rapping (McLeod, 1999). Although each was significant to the historical development and evolution of hip-hop, the lyrical spoken word became the element most often associated—sometimes used synonymously—with hip-hop. A shift from the margins during the 1980s to mainstream recognition in the 1990s expanded the profile of rap beyond limitations of American culture to global recognition (McLeod, 1999; Motley & Henderson, 2008).

Hip-hop produced an “inescapable” (West, 2005, p. xii) racialized dimension that must be recognized and discussed as embedded in Black culture beyond the unique musical sound and style. Scholars identified this racialized space through rap discourse with origins in African dialect that emphasized attention to poetic spoken word and live performance meant for an audience to share, witness, and participate in a collective construction of meaning, rather than adherence to a formal musical structure (Neal, 1997; Shusterman, 1991; Walsh, 2013). The notion of collective meaning making (Krauss, 2005) was an important dimension that positioned rap music alongside racialized sports that began in 1983 with two foundational songs, “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash and “Basketball” by Kurtis Blow (Teitelbaum, 2010). Respectively, these songs offered a first link between rap and sports perceived as Black with reference to boxer Sugar Ray Leonard, who was a world class champion in the 1980s, and basketball, especially the streetball style made famous in parks across New York. McLeod (2009) identified terminology such as how performers got “in the zone” or found a “groove” that offered philosophical and stylistic crossover of freestyle and power that were significant in sport and rap music as a natural overlap across these two industries.

Media played a role in influencing participation by Black youth in both rap music and sport “as attainable images of success” (Harrison, Harrison, & Moore, 2002, p. 129). Therefore, Black youth aspired to participate in successful activities that are labeled as Black. Harrison et al. (2002) explained Black as an identity constructed through a process of disengagement from White culture that “don’t get it” and as a form of immersion into accepted Black culture embedded in sport. This process shunned participation in activities that are deemed White. Comeaux and Harrison’s (2004) “baller” label helped connect rap to sport as both industries offer a space where “exuberant expressions that are either vocalized or produced through the body are more culturally accepted and prevalent in football and basketball, as opposed to baseball” (p. 72). Their survey of 300 urban high school athletes identified three reasons for baseball’s steady decline in popularity: (a) fewer Black professional baseball players, (b) an overall lack of interest in the sport, and (c) a dearth of summer resources compared with basketball and football. Such reasons influenced a social shift from baseball as the top black spectator sport in the 1930s during the prominence of the Negro Baseball League, to its move to a predominately White suburban sport (Comeaux & Harrison, 2004; Early, 1996; Swanson, 2014).

Conversely, the racialized dimension of rap risked assimilation following its rapid ascension from a strictly urban dynamic into U.S. suburbia, which produced a “struggle to maintain a ‘pure’ identity” (McLeod, 1999, p. 136). Rap was once the sole possession of Black youth (Queeley, 2003), but it suffered appropriation and annexation similar to Motown (Neal, 1997). Popularity of rap music paralleled other music genres as a lyrical method to push back against mainstream media and parenting (Gaines, 1992). Riley (2005) explained the music revolt was more than a simple rebellion that represented “symbolic systems from which the young people involved in them draw sustenance and meaning” (p. 301). Interest in rap music and its mode of expression—whether political, violent, or racial—spanned the globe with a desire to understand how rap music influenced other nations and subsequent youth culture (Söderman & Sernhede, 2016; Tomaszewicz, 2017). Thus, rap was no longer the property of a monolithic community but an evolution across different cultures with varied interpretations (Riley, 2005).

Integrating Baseball and Music

Just as rap music shifted from a site of urban resistance to a capitalistic space driven by consumption (Queeley, 2003), the same occurred for baseball regarding its loss of monolithic community along racial, national, and musical boundaries. Baseball was a game built on “immigration and assimilation” (Cusic, 2003, p. 5) for Europeans to pursue the American dream. In the early 1900s, the sport “was also becoming more aggressively lily white” (Nowatzki, 2002, p. 82) and was a segregated space from Reconstruction until Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier in 1947. Even after that penultimate moment, the sport remained a site of racial tension for decades (Swanson, 2014). DeLorme and Singer (2010) outlined that integration of baseball was focused on forecasting civil rights and the opportunity for growth in new markets more than altruism toward Black America. Therefore, Robinson’s inclusion in baseball should not be held to such nostalgic ideals, but instead interpreted through a lens of economic potential to capitalize on a new market with impending buying power (DeLorme & Singer, 2010). Black participation in MLB reached an all-time high of 27% in 1975 (Comeaux & Harrison, 2004). Breckenridge and Goldsmith (2009) identified an increase in MLB attendance followed integration and posited the effect to the spectacle of interest for White fans to witness previously unseen athletic achievement, especially one at a social distance.

Race is often positioned as the threshold of strongest resistance to baseball integration, but it was the sport’s national identity as American (i.e., the United States of America) that witnessed the first broken barrier. The allowance for Latino players in the early 1940s was likely precipitated by team owner discretion and deceptive business practices to position the lightest-skinned Latinos as White (Surdam, Brown, & Gabriel, 2016). Breckenridge and Goldsmith (2009) indicated that many Latinos played in MLB before Robinson and likely assisted in the increased attendance following integration. Alongside Robinson’s success, baseball became more accessible for the Caribbean and Latin American players with darker complexion to follow the path paved by successful Black players, who were at times misidentified in media reports as Cuban or Spanish (Early, 1996). However, tension between Black and Latino players highlighted that integration was not recognized as a shared site of struggle based on whether players accepted or denied being marked as “colored” (Burgos, 2009). Expansion of the sport across racial and ethnic borders reinforced “a more controversial reputation of U.S.-American culture: globalization, the neo-colonialism” (Ottenson, 2014, p. 768), where MLB attempted to create a positive reflection of integration. In the process, many of these players were subsumed into a harmonious, yet still racialized, revisionist history of baseball (Burgos, 2009).

Baseball and country music historically produced an ideologically aligned pair for Whites as racially divided cultures that supported segregation (Cusic, 2003). These two iconographic American industries have been romanticized through American nostalgia (Mann, 2008; Nathan, 2014). Mann (2008) outlined that country music created a white space through its focus on nostalgia that iteratively performed tropes of traditional cultural values and norms grounded in whiteness. This musical process offered a unique function that country music served to create and maintain its place as a segregated space embedded historically in American culture. However, as civil rights laws passed in the 1960s, country music—like baseball—methodically integrated. Thus, in a dichotomous, yet similar, manner, baseball and country music spent the next few decades capitalizing on growth markets to expand into previously untapped cultural spaces. Rap music witnessed a similarly unexpected overlap fueled by American capitalism.

Country music and Latin American cultures traced together to specific geographic regions as early as the 1920s (Cusic, 2003). However, it was in the late 1990s, when a popular form of country music known as “Tejano” crossed ethnic boundaries to appeal to country music fans and Latino culture (Cusic, 2003). That effective ability to tap into cross-cultural markets paralleled a time when nearly one-third of the baseball players were Latino. A New York Times story about the infusion of country and Latin music in the New York Mets clubhouse exemplified the range of musical development among baseball players (Wagner, 2016). Thus, a new marketplace for baseball and music was established amid a desire to expand into previously undeveloped spaces.

Conversely, country music and Black America were not culturally aligned. Charley Pride was heralded as a lone exception and that was because Pride sounded White, which during a time of limited visual media attention was accepted (Malone, 1985; Mann, 2008). It was not until in the 2000s where some sites of musical progress occurred across these previously disparate cultures. In 2004, country star Tim McGraw and rapper Nelly juxtaposed their different styles in the song “Over and Over,” which was part of Nelly’s album and offered an initial crossover for country into a rap album (Lashua & Fox, 2007). Prior to this song’s release, a group of Nashville-based musicians formed in 2001 as an afront to marginalized, traditional country music (Pruett, 2010). MuzikMafia was a collection of country artists such as Big & Rich and Gretchen Wilson “whose openness to musical and cultural difference has struck a chord with country audiences” (Morris, 2011, p. 480). MuzikMafia created Raybaw Records, and Cowboy Troy emerged from that record label in 2005 as a Black American country rapper. Dallas-born with a cowboy hat, Troy “counterpoises a sincere musical eclecticism with a provocateur’s instinct to foreground his bigness and blackness in a way guaranteed to inflame country traditionalists” (Gussow, 2010, p. 53). However, not all country music fans welcomed Troy. For example, Country Music Television monitored its website and filtered racist comments about Troy and how fans contended his style polluted country music (Tyrangiel, 2005). More crossover followed as unlikely duets of Willie Nelson/Snoop Dogg and Ludacris/Jason Aldean highlighted potential musical synergy that for decades had been less dissimilar than previously perceived (Noe, 1995).

A subculture formed and has been collectively referred to as “thug country” (Lashua & Fox, 2007, p. 151) and “hick-hop” (Pruett, 2010, p. 135). This blend of community and capitalism provided opportunity and concern. For example, the 2005 release of “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” by Trace Adkins produced a hybridity of “celebration and parody” (Morris, 2011, p. 480) that brought blackness and whiteness closer together through words but culturally apart through its appropriation of a rap produced term that could inflame rap enthusiasts in a similar manner to Cowboy Troy’s afront to country. Much like the historical rendering of baseball’s checkered history connected with race are debated and perpetuated, music shared an ideal as an American pastime willing to embrace cultural diversity in the name of capitalism. The emergent success of Lil Nas X and “Old Town Road” in 2019 produced a significant overlap between country culture and rap as the song became the longest-running number-one song on the Billboard top 100 list and generated recognition of the history of Black cowboys in the United States. (Weber, 2019). However, the song highlighted racial exclusion, because it was not deemed “country enough” for the Billboard charts until country singer Billy Ray Cyrus joined for a remix. Thus, questions of fundamental segregation across race and genre resurfaced within the music industry (Cevallos, 2019).

Linguistic Theory of Translation

Boer and Fischer (2010) highlighted a need for understanding how music translates across cultures to help move musical research beyond an individualistic process to examine it as cross-cultural interpretation. To understand these cultural intersections, the linguistic theory of translation was critical for this research. Translation is offered in written or spoken word and is influenced by how something is presented and received. However, when spoken word is combined with music, it is translated into song. List (1963) explained that speech and song shared three distinct elements of communication: “(1) vocally produced, (2) linguistically meaningful, and (3) melodic” (p. 1). The focus of this research is on linguistic meaning, specifically, how translation occurred through language as “a process of substituting a text in one language for a text in another” (Catford, 1978, p. 1).

Song lyrics that are performed produce meaning making (Krauss, 2005) often through the translation of linguistically meaningful people, places, and moments. This is especially so in rap music where the spoken word produced social movement through music (Söderman & Sernhede, 2016). Shusterman (1991) identified that rap relied on mass culture for much of its original content, including material brands, television shows, and sports personalities. Androutsopoulos (2009) outlined three spheres of hip-hop discourse: (a) artist expression, (b) media discourse, and (c) fan/activist discourse. These spheres have “fuzzy boundaries with respect to their conditions of access and language style” (Androutsopoulos, 2009, p. 59). A concern was that the “street language” of rap lyrics could be typical for one sphere but “indexically incorporated” (p. 59) in another sphere. Thus, when considering the theory of translation, it must be recognized that possible slippage can occur between performer and receiver of a linguistic transaction.

Linguistic studies of rap music have examined a wide range of interpretations, including McLeod’s (2009) study of the intersection of rap, sport, and masculinity that engaged similar terminology that overlapped between music and sports (e.g., groove) and aesthetic repetition (e.g., practice) for perfection. Rap lyrics and the genre, in general, have been examined for its influence connected to violence (Riley, 2005), biblical and religious symbolism (Viljoen, 2004; Walsh, 2013), and the construction of a “global hip-hop diaspora” (Motley & Henderson, 2008, p. 243). Thompson (2005) described a complex relationship between rap lyrics and audiences that required a listener to be “savvy enough to unpack” (p. 124) meaning and avoid misperception. Newman (2009) outlined that research of lyrics can offer a form of critique to identify interpretations of how lyrics positioned things and people in songs, but what individuals take away from any given text cannot be derived.

As this research was not an ethnomusicological study, it was most concerned with List’s (1963) second element of speech and song to understand the linguistic meaning embedded in rap lyrics. It was especially important to focus on the text, which Armstrong (2001) explained “provides an explicit conceptual framework that answers questions concerning musical meaning and social significance” (p. 97). Two research questions guided this study to unpack the linguistic positioning of baseball and its players in rap culture by how they were translated through rap lyrics. First, how were baseball players represented as “ballers” through rap lyrics as a process to integrate a historically disconnected and dwindling relationship between baseball and rap? Second, how was baseball terminology used in rap lyrics through transference of players actions to produce parallel meaning in rap culture?

Methods

Data Collection and Sample

Guided by the aims of the current study, two researchers collected rap lyrics that had a linguistic reference to MLB players and managers. The reference to an individual rather than a specific team or a stand-alone reference to “baseball” was expected to offer greater context because baseball actions (e.g., pitch, steal) were performed by players and/or controlled by managers. Therefore, the focus was limited to references connected only to individuals. Researchers began with an Internet search of prominent music lyric databases and search engines. Results from the search led the authors to consider three sites: www.azlyrics.com, www.genius.com, and www.songmeanings.com. The authors consulted with a scholar who studies music lyrics and linguistics to assess the accuracy and validity of these websites. This scholar helped the authors select www.genius.com because the site was considered the most accurate when attempting to gather a complete data set of music lyrics.

The site offered a subsection for “athlete references in rap music” that included a total of 729 athletes from all sports, with 128 representing baseball players and managers. A list of 239 lyrical references across the 128 individuals was compiled to begin examining a linguistic relationship between baseball and rap. The authors collected the lyrical references by indexing them on a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. The first author listened to each song reference to cross-check for accuracy of the translation on the website. With a lyrical database constructed, the authors conducted a thematic analysis of baseball references within rap lyrics. The references provided by www.genius.com were not a perfect or exhaustive list of all player and manager references in all rap songs. However, the authors determined the website offered a composite list that was considered extensive enough to begin data analysis.

Data Analysis

The authors used thematic analysis to outline a relationship between baseball and rap culture and were guided by previous studies of rap culture and music (Armstrong, 2001; Conrad, Dixon, & Zhang, 2009; Cundiff, 2013; Stevens-Aubrey & Frisby, 2011; Weitzer & Kurbin, 2009). Armstrong (2001) analyzed 490 rap lyrics and suggested that rap was “understood within a context of patriarchal hegemony” (p. 96) through its violence against women. Conrad et al. (2009) determined negative themes associated with rap music imagery and suggested women were heavily represented as “objects of sexuality” (p. 134) in rap videos. Additional analyses of rap lyrics and music videos indicated sexual objectification of women along with other representations of misogyny (Stevens-Aubrey & Frisby, 2011; Weitzer & Kurbin, 2009). Use of thematic analysis afforded a flexible approach to allow themes to emerge (Braun & Clarke, 2006) with assistance from previous research and the authors’ knowledge of baseball and rap music.

An open, axial coding process was used in this analysis. Initial coding started with a thorough reading of the lyrics to “think about the material in new ways” (Charmaz, 2006, p. 55). This fracturing of ideas allowed themes to emerge from the data through prevalent patterns (Braun & Clarke, 2006). However, to look for thematic overlap across rap and baseball culture required prior knowledge of specific languages. Use of grounded theory called for an understanding of in vivo codes, which are linguistic terms specific to the data under investigation (Charmaz, 2006). For example, “pitch” was a slang term for drug dealing and an action performed by a pitcher in baseball. Another example was “stealing base,” which can be used to discuss free-base cocaine and the baseball action to run between bases to evade being tagged out. Thus, it was necessary for the authors to understand the different languages produced in rap culture and baseball terminology that might be used to describe this cross-cultural translation. Following the initial coding, emergent themes were positioned into subcategories such as the overlap of terminology or how individual players’ names were used as action verbs or descriptors of success.

The authors returned to the data in a process of axial coding intended to reassemble the fractured data (Charmaz, 2006). A saturation point was achieved to organize the data (Braun & Clarke, 2006) and unpack how player and manager references were used in rap lyrics (Thompson, 2005). Reaching saturation in qualitative, thematic research is complex and subjective (Ando, Cousins, & Young, 2014; Saunders et al., 2018), but the authors used the maximum number of lyrics available in the accessible database and exhausted the number of composite themes to offer a framework to synthesize a relationship between baseball and rap. This “dense texture of relationships” (Strauss, 1987, p. 64) was then organized into overarching categories intended to understand the consequences of how baseball was translated through rap lyrics and why it was significant in a process of cultural understanding (Corbin & Strauss, 2015).

The flexibility afforded in thematic analysis allowed this research to inductively explore how the languages of baseball and rap cultures intersected through translation of text, which is central to sociological analysis of rap music and its concentrated language (Armstrong, 2001). The analysis was intended to verify how these seemingly disparate languages intersected and to generate a linguistic theory for understanding these cross-cultural spaces. Furthermore, it was important to highlight the presence of crystallization (Richardson, 2000) throughout the research process. That is, the authors examined the lyrics as data that can change or look different from the researcher’s vantage point, with the understanding that data, when viewed as a crystal, can grow and alter that acknowledges the complexity of rap lyrics.

Analysis

The following analysis is split into two sections. The first section synthesizes how baseball players as individuals translate across all rap lyrics and offer two overarching approaches: (a) the player retains agency as an individual where their name offers context to know the individual and (b) a player’s name adheres to an alternative meaning. The second section unpacks how rappers translate baseball terminology as a source language into a target language for rap culture, mostly through transference of baseball actions to rap goals and outcomes (Catford, 1978). This translation occurs in conjunction with player names as a catalyst for the action.

“Ballers” in Rap Music

The first research question addressed how baseball players were represented through rap lyrics. The following descriptive information is offered from the lyrical database. Of the 128 players who represented the 239 references, 61 players were included in multiple references. The analysis leaned more on the players with repeated references because they accounted for more than 70% of total references. This allowed space to explore for consistent patterns beyond isolated references. However, all player references assisted to identify key threads. Of the 61 players with multiple references, more than one-third (n = 21) played significant time in New York City, which connected to rap music’s roots. Broken down by position, 26 were infielders, 20 were outfielders, and 15 were pitchers. Regarding race and ethnicity, more than half (n = 34) were non-White: 20 Black, 12 Latino, and two Japanese. The authors categorized ethnicity based on the country in which the player was born. Five baseball players tied with four references: Yogi Berra, Jose Canseco, Greg Maddux, Mark McGwire, and Cy Young. Seventy-seven rappers provided the 239 references, and 36 accounted for multiple references. The following artists providing the most player references to baseball players in their lyrics: Action Bronson (28), Wale (16), Jay-Z (12), Ice Cube (7), and Mac Miller (7).

Positive “baller” representation

Baseball wealth and on-field success offered the two most frequent positive representations of baseball players as “ballers” in rap lyrics, and in this process, the player retained his agency. Accumulation of wealth was translated in multiple ways, but the common link was simply to highlight how rich someone can be in baseball and rap, either through money or material possessions. Pitcher Randy Johnson, who earned approximately $175 million during his MLB career, was connected through his salary to Lil’ Kim’s lifestyle and earning potential: “Upscale type of bitch/Money making like mitch/Got a million-dollar pitch/I feel like Randy Johnson.” Thus, she equated his pitching skill and subsequent earnings as a lifestyle that she is accustomed to as an upscale individual. Pitcher CC Sabathia earned nearly $250 million across 17 seasons through 2018 and was heralded in several songs. Joell Ortiz rhymed: “Doctor, I see red people or like CC Sabathia’s contract/Maybe it’s a whole bunch of dead people.” In this example, Sabathia’s contract represented a vision of dead presidents, which is often used in rap lyrics to amplify monetary wealth emblazoned with former presidents on U.S. currency. Traced to Eric B. and Rakim in 1987 through Jay-Z in 1996, the chase for “dead presidents” became a hallmark of the rap game that ideally translated to baseball in the desire for greater wealth trapped in an American capitalist culture (Belle, 2014).

Beyond monetary gain, on-field success was heralded for athletic achievement and used to produce a parallel between a player’s skill and a rap culture focused on superior rhyming ability and a desire to be the best in the game. An athlete’s agency was usually retained in this positive representation, and these references were often simple. Ice Cube rapped: “fool I can hit like Kenny Griff,” which referenced Ken Griffey Jr. and his 630 career home runs. This reference style was the most overt connection to ballers, where Lil Wayne was “ballin’ like Tony Gwynn” or Rick Ross was “balling like Roger Clemens.” These odes to athletic accomplishment recognized baseball success.

However, baseball skills were positioned as a barometer to be met and exceeded by success in the rap game. Reggie Jackson earned the moniker “Mr. October” for his postseason success with the New York Yankees in the 1970s. Rapper Q-Tip acknowledged Jackson as the style to outperform: “As I send the mic out the park like Reggie Jackson/You be the minor leaguer who sees no action.” Q-Tip used Jackson’s success as a metaphor to demean Q-Tip’s rap competition as nothing more than the equivalent of baseball’s minor league system. E-40 moved it even further that he was “feasible, unbeatable, the best thing that ever did it/Incredible like Ichiro, you pitch it I’mma hit it.” Ichiro’s talent as the most accomplished Japanese player in MLB history was recognized as the threshold for E-40 to surpass into unbeatable talent.

Player agency provided a unique lens to examine the integration of a primarily White sport into a Black culture with positive representations limited to the most elite of athletic success or financial gain. Thus, player agency was reduced in two ways while still presented within a positive “baller” context. First and most often, a player’s name was sexually translated, either as a sex object or as a sexually attainable goal usually through a player’s girlfriend or wife. Second, a player’s name was formed into material artifacts as assault weapons.

Regarding sexual advances, rapper Mike Stud converted Hall-of-Famer Jeff Bagwell into a verb: “Cause these hoes I bag well like Jeffrey do/So out in Houston I’m an Astro.” The comparison equated the rapper’s success in getting women into bed with Bagwell’s baseball skills. Lil’ Dicky translated Andres Galarraga’s nickname, “The Big Cat,” into female genitalia: “She had a real big cat, Andres Galaragga pussy.” Player’s wives were not off-limits as Royce da 5’9” rapped: “You haters busters, you Dave & Buster’s/I’m David Justice/Translation: I’m making Halle Berry my next pitch.” This expressed desire was for Justice’s model wife, Berry. Parallels between attaining women further linked baseball and rap as heteronormative and masculine spaces that desired and required control (McLeod, 1999).

Players’ names and agencies were further pawned in the rap game as weapons to enhance the rap profession or to fend off competitors. Lil’ Wayne highlighted Cal Ripken Jr.’s defensive ability at third base and juxtaposed Ripken into a 0.40 caliber weapon: “I play the corner like Ripken nigga/With the forty Cal Ripken nigga, rip a nigga.” Wayne simultaneously glorified Ripken the athlete and diminished him to an action rhyme to rip the competition. Ice Cube transferred his own marksmanship to Satchel Paige’s ability to pitch and break from the White capitalist hold historically placed on baseball through controlling economic markets: “You can’t salary cap my gat/No strike, cause gangsta rap is on the map/I’m like Satchel Paige wit’ a gauge.” These two examples were considered positive translations regarding the athlete’s skill but were problematic because they were converted into violent forms of attack. However, the positive “baller” representations that linked these two professions hinted at a trope that Watts (1997) described as a “mythic justification for spectacular consumption” (p. 55) embedded in rap and baseball cultures where wealth and power represented the greatest mark of achievement.

Negative “baller” representation

Despite the overwhelmingly positive representation of baseball players collectively in rap lyrics, their staying power was limited, as indicated by the minimal number of players with multiple references. Thus, if a player was no longer deemed successful, there was no room for him in the rap game. This could lead to negative “baller” representations, which primarily fit into three categories: heavy drug user, snitch/cheat, and outlier.

Rappers frowned on baseball players whose careers were derailed by excessive drug use, with steroids reserved for a different mode of negativity. Players like Darryl Strawberry and Steve Howe, who were repeatedly arrested for cocaine use, became negative “ballers” in rap lyrics. Strawberry was targeted for his inability to stay clean and the adverse effects. Chino XL claimed he “never wrote no rhyme that’s ordinary/Won’t throw my life away on coke like Darryl Strawberry.” The Roots wrote: “We walk around a little edgy, all ready and steady/Withdrawal like Darryl Strawberry, it figures.” These negative stereotypes of how excessive drug use can affect one’s ability to rap diminished Strawberry. Ice Cube referred to being “in the batter’s box, high as Steve Howe.” Howe was suspended seven times during his MLB career for cocaine use and was an example of the rampant use of cocaine in baseball in the 1980s. This ironic negative portrayal of drug users is further discussed in the next section regarding rap’s positive transference of baseball language to drug dealing.

The second negative representation of baseball players intersected the steroid era and witnessed a shift in how rap interpreted players who used performance-enhancing drugs. These negative “ballers” were considered cheaters and snitches. Jose Canseco was the ultimate culprit, as he outed fellow players for steroid use in his book “Juiced” while openly admitting he cheated the sport as well, which did not sit well with rappers. Fabolous rhymed: “Feel like I seen it all, but I can’t say so/Be a snitch? No way, Jose Canseco.” Machine Gun Kelly added: “I ain’t ever sold my soul, I ain’t ever had no halo/Smoke J’s big as egg rolls, hit that Jose Canseco.” Both references hint at Canseco’s position as a sell-out that would not be tolerated in the rap game. Other players who were suspended (e.g., Ryan Braun) or tarnished following their career (e.g., Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire) for steroids were ostracized as fake. Mike Stud would never stoop so low: “I freestyle, I ain’t lying boy/I don’t cheat, homie I ain’t Ryan Braun.” McGwire and Bonds were heralded while breaking home run records, but their lasting image in rap lyrics was negative. Wale rapped: “Limitations for cowards, this is Che mixed with Malcolm/This is anti-Mark McGwire, it takes patience for power.” R.A. The Rugged Man chided Bonds: “My flow natural, you artificial, beefed up Barry Bonds at BALCO/Dope or dog food? I spit heroin, your rhymes are Alpo.” Both Wale and R.A. opined that they would not cheat to win, but instead would grind through hard work to reach the pinnacle.

The final negative representation was reserved for outliers. These players did something that warranted being positioned outside the lines of acceptable behavior within the masculine context of rap and sport. However, the negative portrayal of the player could be a method of control in the rap game. Roberto Alomar was inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame in 2011, but he was remembered for a 1996 incident when he spat in an umpire’s face after being ejected from a game. Rappers turned Alomar’s spit into acts of retribution and control. D-Dot discussed women whom he considered low class as “type of bitches that spit in yo’ face like Alomar/Broke hoes without a car, snatchin’ fruit from salad bars.” Lord Jamar referenced Alomar as “Allah Akbar, Lord Jamar spit in devil’s face like Roberto Alomar.” He used Alomar as a powerful religious afront to control the equivalent of the devil. Therefore, Alomar’s negative action was positioned as a strike against authority and need for control embedded in rap culture. Pitcher John Rocker, who was quoted with racist and homophobic slurs in 1999, was portrayed by Asher Roth as “they say I’m off my John Rocker.” This referred to Rocker’s mental instability considered within the context of his quotes. Sammy Sosa was converted into a negative sexual connotation after he altered his physical appearance and skin tone. Heems demeaned: “Your chick look like Oprah, mixed with Sammy Sosa/And she got a dick where there’s supposed to be a chocha.” This homophobic transference of Sosa was a negative “baller” representation for a player once heralded for home runs alongside McGwire during the steroid era. These negative representations of baseball players offered insight into how rap lyrics turned players’ negative acts in their sport into positive gains of control in the rap game.

Transference of Baseball Terminology

The second research question addressed how baseball terminology was translated to describe rap culture. In the theory of translation, meaning is the critical component of analysis. In full translation, for example from English to French, meaning should not change in translation (Catford, 1978). However, meaning can shift in partial translation through transference or borrowing from a source language (e.g., baseball) to a target language (e.g., rap music) (Neagu, 2016). Baseball terminology as a source language (e.g., pitch, K, stealing a base) produced a specific meaning in baseball. However, rap music borrowed baseball words and reinterpreted them into rap meaning without altering the word. Therefore, it was the cultural shift in meaning that was important in this research question.

The authors developed emergent themes guided by previous research (Armstrong, 2001; Cundiff, 2013; Conrad et al., 2009; Stevens-Aubrey & Frisby, 2011; Weitzer & Kurbin, 2009) and close reading of the lyrics to identify prevalent and repeated use of baseball terms and deciphered the transference of meaning. It was important to examine these terms within the context of baseball players as the people who performed the act that was translated into an act performed by a rapper. Drug distribution, violence, and misogyny emerged as themes. These themes are outlined separately, but this research understood these themes overlapped with how “ballers” were positioned within rap’s desire for material wealth and industry dominance.

Drug distribution

Multiple baseball terms translated into a drug culture historically embedded in rap music. The terms most linguistically borrowed were “pitch,” “K,” and “base.” These terms fueled drug usage or distribution as an emergent theme. Gucci Mane used pitcher Nolan Ryan to explain drug dealing capabilities: “We fly in, I’m buyin./Say, you got more birds? You lyin’? You trying and lying, you boys ain’t supplying/I pitch like Nolan Ryan, got cocaine frying.” Ryan’s role as a pitcher became a metaphor for Gucci Mane’s drug dealing ability. “Pitch” within this context meant to sell drugs at a rapid pace, which was significant to use Ryan because of his noted history for throwing a fastball 100 miles per hour. In addition, Ryan’s mediated status as “an archetypal male athletic hero” (Trujillo, 1991, p. 290) provided added stature for Gucci Mane.

Pitcher references were exceedingly connected with dealing drugs. However, individual drugs were described differently. Fat Joe outlined a variety of drug options: “Got that weed, got that coke, got them dope sacks/My little man pitchin’, yeah, we call him Sandy Koufax.” Koufax was known for his range of pitches, which transferred linguistically to an ability to pitch a wide range of drugs. Slick Pulla described his method: “Like John Smoltz in his prime when I pitch the K/Got the scale in my pocket on a suicide grind.” Smoltz was known for his ability to strike out batters, which was signified in baseball statistics with a K symbol. For Slick Pulla, K is short for kilos regarding how to measure drugs by weight. Inspectah Deck incorporated Randy Johnson’s nickname, “Big Unit,” in his dealing style: “Big unit, pitching this corner to corner.” The corner reference added street slang where drug deals often occurred and rules did not apply (Watts, 1997).

Jay-Z provided a deeply insightful connection between drug distribution, baseball player (Cal Ripken Jr.), team (Baltimore Orioles), and material production: “She can keep for herself and distribute 36 O’s in ki, you do the addition/Before Mitchell and Ness did it/I was moving birds like a Oriole fitted/I’m Cal Ripken Jr. let’s get it.” In this vignette, Jay-Z introduced language that explicitly described the drug game and the street hustler mentality. “O’s,” also the shortened nickname for Orioles, were used to suggest someone selling kilograms of cocaine, while moving birds represented moving the cocaine overseas or across state lines. Here, it is important to denote transference of meaning because of the street life imagery associated with the usage of baseball references in rap lyrics. In describing his role in moving birds, Jay-Z used a comparative style to situate himself with skills in a drug transaction akin to Ripken’s baseball acumen. Beyond skills on the field and the street, the lyrics included material ideas of a fitted Orioles baseball hat designed by Mitchell and Ness. In this example, the baseball player was not just used to describe an act but was connected to imagery painted by the rapper through the expressive art form.

While pitching was nearly exclusive to drug distribution, translation of position players varied. Base stealers had their affinity for running fast transferred to freebase cocaine, or “base,” in rap language. Shad described life on the street: “No eviction notice, still I’m homeless on a poet’s mission/Not that I’m a fiend stealing base like Otis Nixon.” Shad used Nixon, who had 620 stolen bases in his MLB career, to provide context and linguistic translation to an addict’s desire to steal drugs. Jay-Z rapped: “I used to run base like Juan Pierre/Now I run the bass hi-hat and the snare.” Thus, Jay-Z described his career transformation from drug dealer to rap mogul in the linguistic transference of baseball terminology connected to Pierre and his 614 career stolen bases. It was significant to note that drug use was rarely discussed within the context of the rap game. As outlined in the previous section, drug use was positioned as a weakness in connection to baseball players who dealt with addiction. Thus, the transference of baseball players’ on-field actions into rap culture focused on drug distribution with the goal of accumulating wealth, not through suffering adverse effects of consumption.

Violence

Violence was widely evident in transference of baseball across rap lyrics and built upon previous research that linked violence and rap culture (Riley, 2005). The Game used pitcher Roy Halladay to describe shooting an AK-47: “Money like Madoff, kill ‘em like Adolf, Roy Halladay/I’ll let a fuckin’ K off, and I don’t take a fucking day off.” The Game used a double entendre with “a fuckin’ K” to compare his shooting ability with Halladay’s superior pitching ability. In this instance, a “K” switched meaning from drug weight to an AK-47 assault rifle. The reference to weapons as a means of control paralleled street life and drug dealing overemphasized in rap culture (Queeley, 2003).

As noted earlier, Ice Cube compared his style with a gun to the skills of pitcher Satchel Paige. Ice Cube used a combination of Paige and Robinson to describe an unregulated robbery in baseball parlance: “I’m like Satchel Paige with a gauge/Or Jackie Robinson, when I’m robbing one of you cracka jacks fool/I’m a mothafucking vet and fuck yo seventh-inning stretch, so take me out to the ball game.” The use of baseball player actions to represent violence offered an artistic interpretation of sporting prowess and power to exert a form of dominance. The Game added a unique perspective to violent control in a reference to Yogi Berra: “Che Guevara of the New Era, test me/Louisville slugger, Yogi Berra in my new era/Got that natty on, tighter than a magnum/Walk in the club saggin’ with a .38 Magnum.” The Game combined a baseball player reference with a guerilla tactician from Cuban and South American revolutions as a method to translate power through violence.

In these examples, power was presented with baseball players as metaphors for violent acts of “keeping it real” in the use of actual weapons for harm (Shusterman, 2005). The power pitching style of players such as Halladay and Paige provided historical context to the importance of dominant pitching in baseball traced from the segregated Negro League to modern day. In addition, player names helped translate violent methods into relatable terminology. Thus, baseball representations as a source of violence offered an interesting combination of playing style closely associated with a long-standing tradition of violence in rap culture.

Misogyny

Misogyny was the final emergent theme and often intersected with violence. Previous research has examined this phenomenon in broad rap contexts (Armstrong, 2001; Conrad et al., 2009), but research has yet to examine misogyny within the context of baseball and rap. Joe Budden produced a direct afront to women: “All of you feminine marauders, they’re swimming that water, men will assault ya/Tommy’s and bats to resemble Lasorda, kidnap your trembling daughter.” Budden referred to Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda in connection to Tommy guns as a method to restore order against feminists through a violent act of kidnapping. This example provided context for controlling a situation like a baseball manager but in a violent rap fashion.

The baseball term for throwing a curveball was translated through the slang term “curve” to evade females in search of material possessions. However, the term was also used to identify that if the rapper wanted to avoid evasion and secure a sexual encounter, they had control to do so. Chinx referred to a priority for money over women to “get the dough, and your ho she get curved Roger Clemens/Talking O’s, I’m supposed to get the dough by the minute boy.” This referred to Chinx’s ability to match Clemens’ curveball as a method to reject sexual advances from women and focus on getting paid. Conversely, J. Cole outlined how easy it was to steal another man’s female: “Boy stick to your day job, said you were hot?/Well, they lied/Is that your girl?/Well, I just G’d her, no A-Rod.” This gangsta style to “G” someone’s girl meant to take her, regardless of opposition. J. Cole used Alex Rodriguez as a negative reference in connection to losing a girl.

Rapper Mac Miller perpetuated misogynistic behavior when he referenced Chicago White Sox slugger Frank Thomas to discuss his intentions with a woman: “Finding me a bitch I can swerve on/Frank Thomas homie, ‘bout to put the hurt on/Your bitch a night light in bed, she turned on/Roll some weed, tell her burn one.” Here, Miller discussed how he will have sex with a woman, while putting a “hurt” on her in bed. Miller used Thomas’ hitting ability and “Big Hurt” nickname to explain how the rapper will make the woman feel after a sexual encounter. This lyric explained another baseball translation in rap culture and offered insight into the devaluation of the woman’s body into gendered and sexualized roles that have been rampant in rap and sporting cultures driven by masculinity (Gines, 2005).

Discussion

The findings in this research are significant for understanding the sociological implications of baseball’s linguistic transference into rap culture. First, it highlights how a rise in baseball representations in rap lyrics offers a way “in” for two industries historically and culturally segregated from each other. Second, it develops a broad understanding of positive and negative rap references to baseball players within the “baller” context as outlined by Comeaux and Harrison (2004). This is important because their research identified that young Black athletes felt disconnected from baseball because of a limited number of aspirational “ballers” in professional baseball. Therefore, rappers work as a social binder to Black youth to highlight new role models that might have appeared distant until translated through a familiar linguistic space.

It is somewhat ironic that rap music, which is often portrayed as a fast lifestyle, chose a slow-moving sport such as a baseball in an engaging, lyrical fashion (Boyd, 2008). Baseball offers a form of persuasive parallelism in rap lyrics that uses the speed and power when baseball is in motion and in play to produce unexpected “rhythmic interrelationships” (McLeod, 2009, p. 207) that highlight a mostly positive interpretation of the sport. Thus, this lyrical juxtaposition of baseball players and its language offers a space that indexically interprets a previously fuzzy boundary between baseball and rap to produce some clarity for these unfamiliar audiences (Androutsopoulos, 2009). In the process, rap works linguistically to make baseball meaningful (List, 1963) in a reemergence of baseball popularity among Black audiences that was once a thriving target market (Comeaux & Harrison, 2004; Early, 1996; Swanson, 2014).

This social entanglement traces further toward an intersection of rap music with U.S. White suburbia that started in the 1990s. The question becomes whether this push of baseball in rap is a form of the music genre’s powerful ability to infiltrate new spaces or whether the buying power of a willing public breed another form of musical appropriation (McLeod, 1999; Queeley, 2003). This research cannot answer that question, but it does lend itself to raise the question based on the interpretation of desire for role models, a noticeable blend of music across all genres, especially a developing relationship across country and rap, and the outward desire by professional baseball players to choose rap music for their in-stadium identity through walk-up songs. This produces a new lens to see how baseball and rap cultures are becoming more culturally aligned.

This research attempts to follow Newman’s (2009) process of lyrical interpretation and offers a critique of how rap lyrics position baseball, its unique language, and the players within rap culture. However, it is necessary to note that how audiences derive meaning from the individual lyrics is not within the scope of this study. What this research identifies is that not all translation and overlap between baseball and rap music is positive. The reinforcement of masculinity, misogyny, violence, and rampant drug use presents a challenge within these male-dominant spaces, especially if the intent is as a point of access to see new role models. It also raises red flags about the desire for athletes and musicians to act as—and be viewed as—role models. These are but a few of the sociological implications of this unique and burgeoning relationship between baseball and rap.

As a translation study, the borrowing and transference of baseball words as a source language offers a previously unexplored connection to rap as a target language. In addition, this study begins to explore similarities between baseball and rap that reflects how music can provide a cultural link between two seemingly disconnected spaces (Boer & Fischer, 2010), especially when considering the overlap that occurs through walk-up songs in stadiums on a daily basis. The implications of these findings could offer a new way to connect youth athletes of color with baseball through positive representations of baseball players as “ballers” rather than previously disconnected as professional aspirational models (Comeaux & Harrison, 2004). Thus, portrayals of baseball “ballers” through rap could affect future growth of baseball within Black culture, with the recognition that a “role model” may be discussed or perceived positively despite connection through a negative context. In addition, this study indicates a concerning connection in how rappers translated baseball players and their actions through an easy linguistic avenue to connect materialistic and misogynistic control through wealth, esteem, and power.

Limitations and Future Directions

Some limitations of this current study provide directions for future research. First, using lyrics from only one website limited the number of rap references to baseball players. Future research could consider a deeper lyrical search. However, the authors felt the emergent themes were sufficiently supported. Second, baseball references across other music genres were not considered, which could provide greater context to overall baseball representation in music. Third, rap lyrics for other sports were not part of this study and could provide a space for comparative analysis with baseball references. Finally, quantitative coding could offer greater insight to identify trends across time based on race, gender, and ethnicity of performers and player references.

Conclusion

As this study describes at the outset, baseball and rap have not been considered as culturally synonymous. This translation study identifies an unexpected textual hybridity across the languages of baseball and rap music (Neagu, 2016). The findings in this study support a need to bridge that gap to outline some areas of harmonious and beneficial overlap as well as divergent differentiation. This study is significant to understand how rap culture translates—and represents—baseball through lyrics, and in the process metaphorically uses baseball to connect the sport to the Black community. The songs and references in this study highlight a proliferation of baseball terminology usage in rap lyrics to generate synergy across these seemingly disparate cultures. Through this process, a bond between baseball and rap emerges through lyrics that produce imagery embedded in power and misogyny. Thus, baseball “text” as a source language translates to rap “text” as a target language to form a commonly constructed language at an intersection of music, sports, and masculinity. These concerns will likely continue to grow as these two cultures—for decades historically opposed—creep closer to cultural harmony.

References

  • Ando, H., Cousins, R., & Young, C. (2014). Achieving saturation in thematic analysis: Development and refinement of a codebook. Comprehensive Psychology, 3(4), 17. doi:10.2466/03.CP.3.4

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Androutsopoulos, J. (2009). Language and the three spheres of hip-hop. In H. Alim, A. Ibrahim, & A. Pennycock (Eds.), Global linguistic flows (pp. 4362). New York, NY: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Armstrong, E.G. (2001). Gangsta misogyny: A content analysis of the portrayals of violence against women in rap music, 1987–1993. Journal of Criminal Justice and Popular Culture, 8(2), 96126.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Belle, C. (2014). From Jay-Z to dead Prez: Examining representations of black masculinity in mainstream versus underground hip-hop music. Journal of Black Studies, 45(4), 287300. doi:10.1177/0021934714528953

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Boer, D., & Fischer, R. (2010). Towards a holistic model of functions of music listening across cultures: A culturally decentered qualitative approach. Psychology of Music, 40(2), 179200. doi:10.1177/0305735610381885

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Boyd, T. (2008). Young, black, rich, and famous: The rise of the NBA, the hip-hop invasion, and the transformation of American culture. New York, NY: Doubleday.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3(2), 77101. doi:10.1191/1478088706qp063oa

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Breckenridge, R.S., & Goldsmith, P.R. (2009). Spectacle, distance, and threat: Attendance and integration of Major League Baseball, 1930–1961. Sociology of Sport Journal, 26(2), 296319. doi:10.1123/ssj.26.2.296

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Burgos, A., Jr. (2009). Left out: Afro-latinos, black baseball, and the revision of baseball’s racial history. Social Text, 27(1), 3758. doi:10.1215/01642472-2008-016

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Catford, J.C. (1978). A linguistic theory of translation: An essay in applied linguistics (5th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Cevallos, C. (2019). Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus, Old Town Road (Official Movie). Columbia Records. Directed by Calmatic. Released on YouTube on May 17, 2019. Journal of the Society for American Music, 13(3), 396400. doi:10.1017/S1752196319000300

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Charmaz, K. (2006). Constructing grounded theory: A practice guide through qualitative analysis. London: Sage.

  • Comeaux, E., & Harrison, C.K. (2004). Labels of African American ballers: A historical and contemporary investigation of African American male youth’s depletion from America’s favorite pastime, 1885–2000. The Journal of American Culture, 27(1), 6780. doi:10.1111/j.1537-4726.2004.00116.x

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Conrad, K., Dixon, T.L., & Zhang, Y. (2009). Controversial rap themes, gender portrayals and skin tone distortion: A content analysis of rap music videos. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 53(1), 134156. doi:10.1080/08838150802643795

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Corbin, J., & Strauss, A. (2015). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cundiff, G. (2013). The influence of rap and hip-hop music: An analysis on audience perceptions of misogynistic lyrics. Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications, 4(1), 7193.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cusic, D. (2003). Baseball and country music. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

  • Darby, D., & Shelby, T. (Eds.). (2005). Hip-hop & philosophy: Rhyme 2 reason. Peru, IL: Open Court Publishing.

  • DeLorme, J., & Singer, J.N. (2010). The interest convergence principle and the integration of Major League Baseball. Journal of Black Studies, 41(2), 367384. doi:10.1177/0021934709354456

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Early, G. (1996). Birdland: Two observations on the cultural significance of baseball. The American Poetry Review, 25(4), 912.

  • Gaines, D. (1992). Teenage wasteland: Suburbia’s dead end kids. New York, NY: Harper Collins.

  • Gines, K.T. (2005). Queen bees and big pimps: Sex and sexuality in hip-hop. In D. Darby & T. Shelby (Eds.), Hip-hop and philosophy: Rhyme 2 reason (pp. 92104). Chicago, IL: Open Court Publishing.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gussow, A. (2010). Playing chicken with the train: Cowboy Troy’s hick-hop and the transracial country west. Southern Cultures, 16(4), 4170. doi:10.1353/scu.2010.0010

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Harrison, L., Jr., Harrison, C.K., & Moore, L.N. (2002). African American racial identity and sport. Sport, Education and Society, 7(2), 121133. doi:10.1080/1357332022000018823

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Krauss, S.E. (2005). Research paradigms and meaning making: A primer. The Qualitative Report, 10(4), 758770.

  • Lapchick, R. (2018, April 12). The 2018 MLB racial and gender report card. Retrieved from http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/23132253/major-league-baseball-gets-average-marks-hiring-practices

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lashua, B.D., & Fox, K. (2007). Defining the groove: From remix to research in The Beat of Boyle Street. Leisure Studies, 29(2), 143158. doi:10.1080/01490400601160796

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • List, G. (1963). The boundaries of speech and song. Ethnomusicology, 7(1), 116. doi:10.2307/924141

  • Malone, B.C. (1985). Country music USA (rev. ed.). Austin: University of Texas Press.

  • Mann, G. (2008). Why does country music sound white? Race and the voice of nostalgia. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 31(1), 73100. doi:10.1080/01419870701538893

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McLeod, K. (1999). Authenticity within hip-hop and other cultures threatened with assimilation. Journal of Communication, 49(4), 134150. doi:10.1111/j.1460-2466.1999.tb02821.x

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McLeod, K. (2009). The construction of masculinity in African American music and sports. American Music, 27(2), 204226.

  • Morris, D. (2011). Hick-hop hooray? “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk,” musical genre, and the misrecognitions of hybridity. Critical Studies in Media Communication, 28(5), 466488. doi:10.1080/15295036.2010.517778

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Motley, C.M., & Henderson, G.R. (2008). The global hip-hop diaspora: Understanding the culture. Journal of Business Research, 61, 243253. doi:10.1016/j.jbusres.2007.06.020

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nathan, D.A. (2014). Baseball as the national pastime: A fiction whose time is past. The International Journal of the History of Sport, 31(1–2), 91108. doi:10.1080/09523367.2013.858245

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Neagu, M. (2016). Translation procedures of field-specific terms in the literary discourse. In E. Croituru (Ed.), Translation studies: Retrospective and prospective views (vol. 19, pp. 103114). Cluj-Napoca, Romania: Casa Cărţii de Ştiinţă.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Neal, M.A. (1997). Sold out on soul: The corporate annexation of Black popular music. Popular Music and Society, 21(3), 117135. doi:10.1080/03007769708591682

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Newman, M. (2009). “That’s all concept; It’s nothing real:” Reality and lyrical meaning in rap. In H. Alim, A. Ibrahim, & A. Pennycock (Eds.), Global linguistic flows (pp. 195212). New York, NY: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Noe, D. (1995). Parallel worlds: The surprising similarities (and differences) of country-and-western and rap. The Humanist, 55(4), 2022.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nowatzki, R. (2002). Foul lines and the color line: Baseball and race at the turn of the twentieth century. NINE: A Journal of Baseball History and Culture, 11(1), 8288. doi:10.1353/nin.2002.0039

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ottenson, E.B. (2014). The social cost of baseball: Addressing the effects of Major League Baseball recruitment in Latin America and the Caribbean. Washington University Global Studies Law Review, 13(4), 767800.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pruett, D.B. (2010). MuzikMafia: From the local Nashville scene to the national mainstream. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Queeley, A. (2003). Hip hop and the aesthetics of criminalization. Souls, 5(1), 115. doi:10.1080/10999940309231

  • Richardson, L. (2000). New writing practices in qualitative research. Sociology of Sport Journal, 17(1), 520. doi:10.1123/ssj.17.1.5

  • Riley, A. (2005). The rebirth of tragedy out of the spirit of hip-hop: A cultural sociology of gangsta rap music. Journal of Youth Studies, 8(3), 297311. doi:10.1080/13676260500261892

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rogers-Spatuzzi, C., & Gluck, J. (2017, November 1). Major League Baseball players prefer hip-hop songs to get pumped up. Retrieved from https://wtop.com/mlb/2017/11/major-league-baseball-players-prefer-hip-hop-songs-get-pumped/slide/1/

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Saunders, B., Sim, J., Kingston, T., Baker, S., Waterfield, J., Bartlam, B., . . . Jinks, C. (2018). Saturation in qualitative research: Exploring its conceptualization and operationalization. Quality & Quantity, 52(4), 18931907. PubMed ID: 29937585 doi:10.1007/s11135-017-0574-8

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Shusterman, R. (1991). The fine art of rap. New Literacy History, 22(3), 613632. doi:10.2307/469207

  • Shusterman, R. (2005). Rap aesthetics: Violence and the art of keeping it real. In D. Darby & T. Shelby (Eds.), Hip-hop and philosophy: Rhyme 2 reason (pp. 5464). Chicago, IL: Open Court Publishing.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Söderman, J., & Sernhede, O. (2016). Hip-hop—what’s in it for the academy? Self-understanding, pedagogy and aesthetical learning processes in everyday cultural praxis. Music Education Research, 18(2), 142155. doi:10.1080/14613808.2015.1049257

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stevens-Aubrey, J., & Frisby, C.M. (2011). Sexual objectification in music videos: A content analysis comparing gender and genre. Mass Communication and Society, 14(4), 475501.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Strauss, A.L. (1987). Qualitative analysis for social scientists. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.

  • Surdam, D., Brown, K., & Gabriel, P.E. (2016). No so black and white: Race and promotion in Major League Baseball, 1951–1955. Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 40(4), 315328. doi:10.1177/0193723516632044

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Swanson, R.A. (2014). When baseball went white: Reconstruction, reconciliation, & dreams of a national pastime. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Teitelbaum, M. (2010). Sports in America: 1980–1989 (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Chelsea House.

  • Thompson, S.L. (2005). Knowwhatumsayin’? How hip-hop lyrics mean. In D. Darby & T. Shelby (Eds.), Hip-hop and philosophy: Rhyme 2 reason (pp. 119132). Chicago, IL: Open Court Publishing.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tomaszewicz, S. (2017). The relationship between politics and music of the black community. Journal of Education, Health, and Sport, 7(8), 917935.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Trujillo, N. (1991). Hegemonic masculinity on the mound: Media representations of Nolan Ryan and American sports culture. Critical Studies in Mass Communication, 8(3), 290308. doi:10.1080/15295039109366799

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tyrangiel, J. (2005). Hick hop: How cowboy Troy Coleman is shakin’ up country music. Time, 165(22), 6668.

  • Viljoen, M. (2004). Two reflections on urban discourse: Holy-hip as social symbolism. Muziki, 1(1), 4159. doi:10.1080/18125980408529731

  • Wagner, J. (2016, September). Latin, country, reggaeton: Great range in Mets’ playlists. The New York Times, p. SP1.

  • Walsh, C. (2013). Shout-outs to the creator: The use of biblical themes in rap lyrics. The Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, 25(2), 230248. doi:10.3138/jrpc.25.2.230

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Watts, E.K. (1997). An exploration of spectacular consumption: Gangsta rap as cultural commodity. Communication Studies, 48(1), 4258. doi:10.1080/10510979709368490

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Weber, J. (2019, July 30). The real “Old Town Road”: Lil Nas X highlights black cowboy culture across US. USA Today. Retrieved from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/07/30/lil-nas-x-old-town-road-black-cowboy-culture/1801170001/

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Weitzer, R., & Kubrin, C.E. (2009). Misogyny in rap music: A content analysis of prevalence and meanings. Men and Masculinities, 12(1), 329. doi:10.1177/1097184X08327696

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • West, C. (2005). Foreword. In D. Darby & T. Shelby (Eds.), Hip-hop & philosophy: Rhyme 2 reason (pp. xixii). Peru, IL: Open Court Publishing.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

Bell is with the Zimmerman School of Advertising and Mass Communications, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA. Kidd is with the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA.

Address author correspondence to Travis R. Bell at trbell@usf.edu.
  • Ando, H., Cousins, R., & Young, C. (2014). Achieving saturation in thematic analysis: Development and refinement of a codebook. Comprehensive Psychology, 3(4), 17. doi:10.2466/03.CP.3.4

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Androutsopoulos, J. (2009). Language and the three spheres of hip-hop. In H. Alim, A. Ibrahim, & A. Pennycock (Eds.), Global linguistic flows (pp. 4362). New York, NY: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Armstrong, E.G. (2001). Gangsta misogyny: A content analysis of the portrayals of violence against women in rap music, 1987–1993. Journal of Criminal Justice and Popular Culture, 8(2), 96126.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Belle, C. (2014). From Jay-Z to dead Prez: Examining representations of black masculinity in mainstream versus underground hip-hop music. Journal of Black Studies, 45(4), 287300. doi:10.1177/0021934714528953

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Boer, D., & Fischer, R. (2010). Towards a holistic model of functions of music listening across cultures: A culturally decentered qualitative approach. Psychology of Music, 40(2), 179200. doi:10.1177/0305735610381885

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Boyd, T. (2008). Young, black, rich, and famous: The rise of the NBA, the hip-hop invasion, and the transformation of American culture. New York, NY: Doubleday.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3(2), 77101. doi:10.1191/1478088706qp063oa

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Breckenridge, R.S., & Goldsmith, P.R. (2009). Spectacle, distance, and threat: Attendance and integration of Major League Baseball, 1930–1961. Sociology of Sport Journal, 26(2), 296319. doi:10.1123/ssj.26.2.296

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Burgos, A., Jr. (2009). Left out: Afro-latinos, black baseball, and the revision of baseball’s racial history. Social Text, 27(1), 3758. doi:10.1215/01642472-2008-016

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Catford, J.C. (1978). A linguistic theory of translation: An essay in applied linguistics (5th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Cevallos, C. (2019). Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus, Old Town Road (Official Movie). Columbia Records. Directed by Calmatic. Released on YouTube on May 17, 2019. Journal of the Society for American Music, 13(3), 396400. doi:10.1017/S1752196319000300

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Charmaz, K. (2006). Constructing grounded theory: A practice guide through qualitative analysis. London: Sage.

  • Comeaux, E., & Harrison, C.K. (2004). Labels of African American ballers: A historical and contemporary investigation of African American male youth’s depletion from America’s favorite pastime, 1885–2000. The Journal of American Culture, 27(1), 6780. doi:10.1111/j.1537-4726.2004.00116.x

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Conrad, K., Dixon, T.L., & Zhang, Y. (2009). Controversial rap themes, gender portrayals and skin tone distortion: A content analysis of rap music videos. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 53(1), 134156. doi:10.1080/08838150802643795

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Corbin, J., & Strauss, A. (2015). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cundiff, G. (2013). The influence of rap and hip-hop music: An analysis on audience perceptions of misogynistic lyrics. Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications, 4(1), 7193.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cusic, D. (2003). Baseball and country music. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

  • Darby, D., & Shelby, T. (Eds.). (2005). Hip-hop & philosophy: Rhyme 2 reason. Peru, IL: Open Court Publishing.

  • DeLorme, J., & Singer, J.N. (2010). The interest convergence principle and the integration of Major League Baseball. Journal of Black Studies, 41(2), 367384. doi:10.1177/0021934709354456

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Early, G. (1996). Birdland: Two observations on the cultural significance of baseball. The American Poetry Review, 25(4), 912.

  • Gaines, D. (1992). Teenage wasteland: Suburbia’s dead end kids. New York, NY: Harper Collins.

  • Gines, K.T. (2005). Queen bees and big pimps: Sex and sexuality in hip-hop. In D. Darby & T. Shelby (Eds.), Hip-hop and philosophy: Rhyme 2 reason (pp. 92104). Chicago, IL: Open Court Publishing.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gussow, A. (2010). Playing chicken with the train: Cowboy Troy’s hick-hop and the transracial country west. Southern Cultures, 16(4), 4170. doi:10.1353/scu.2010.0010

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Harrison, L., Jr., Harrison, C.K., & Moore, L.N. (2002). African American racial identity and sport. Sport, Education and Society, 7(2), 121133. doi:10.1080/1357332022000018823

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Krauss, S.E. (2005). Research paradigms and meaning making: A primer. The Qualitative Report, 10(4), 758770.

  • Lapchick, R. (2018, April 12). The 2018 MLB racial and gender report card. Retrieved from http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/23132253/major-league-baseball-gets-average-marks-hiring-practices

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lashua, B.D., & Fox, K. (2007). Defining the groove: From remix to research in The Beat of Boyle Street. Leisure Studies, 29(2), 143158. doi:10.1080/01490400601160796

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • List, G. (1963). The boundaries of speech and song. Ethnomusicology, 7(1), 116. doi:10.2307/924141

  • Malone, B.C. (1985). Country music USA (rev. ed.). Austin: University of Texas Press.

  • Mann, G. (2008). Why does country music sound white? Race and the voice of nostalgia. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 31(1), 73100. doi:10.1080/01419870701538893

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McLeod, K. (1999). Authenticity within hip-hop and other cultures threatened with assimilation. Journal of Communication, 49(4), 134150. doi:10.1111/j.1460-2466.1999.tb02821.x

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McLeod, K. (2009). The construction of masculinity in African American music and sports. American Music, 27(2), 204226.

  • Morris, D. (2011). Hick-hop hooray? “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk,” musical genre, and the misrecognitions of hybridity. Critical Studies in Media Communication, 28(5), 466488. doi:10.1080/15295036.2010.517778

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Motley, C.M., & Henderson, G.R. (2008). The global hip-hop diaspora: Understanding the culture. Journal of Business Research, 61, 243253. doi:10.1016/j.jbusres.2007.06.020

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nathan, D.A. (2014). Baseball as the national pastime: A fiction whose time is past. The International Journal of the History of Sport, 31(1–2), 91108. doi:10.1080/09523367.2013.858245

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Neagu, M. (2016). Translation procedures of field-specific terms in the literary discourse. In E. Croituru (Ed.), Translation studies: Retrospective and prospective views (vol. 19, pp. 103114). Cluj-Napoca, Romania: Casa Cărţii de Ştiinţă.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Neal, M.A. (1997). Sold out on soul: The corporate annexation of Black popular music. Popular Music and Society, 21(3), 117135. doi:10.1080/03007769708591682

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Newman, M. (2009). “That’s all concept; It’s nothing real:” Reality and lyrical meaning in rap. In H. Alim, A. Ibrahim, & A. Pennycock (Eds.), Global linguistic flows (pp. 195212). New York, NY: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Noe, D. (1995). Parallel worlds: The surprising similarities (and differences) of country-and-western and rap. The Humanist, 55(4), 2022.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nowatzki, R. (2002). Foul lines and the color line: Baseball and race at the turn of the twentieth century. NINE: A Journal of Baseball History and Culture, 11(1), 8288. doi:10.1353/nin.2002.0039

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ottenson, E.B. (2014). The social cost of baseball: Addressing the effects of Major League Baseball recruitment in Latin America and the Caribbean. Washington University Global Studies Law Review, 13(4), 767800.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pruett, D.B. (2010). MuzikMafia: From the local Nashville scene to the national mainstream. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Queeley, A. (2003). Hip hop and the aesthetics of criminalization. Souls, 5(1), 115. doi:10.1080/10999940309231

  • Richardson, L. (2000). New writing practices in qualitative research. Sociology of Sport Journal, 17(1), 520. doi:10.1123/ssj.17.1.5

  • Riley, A. (2005). The rebirth of tragedy out of the spirit of hip-hop: A cultural sociology of gangsta rap music. Journal of Youth Studies, 8(3), 297311. doi:10.1080/13676260500261892

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rogers-Spatuzzi, C., & Gluck, J. (2017, November 1). Major League Baseball players prefer hip-hop songs to get pumped up. Retrieved from https://wtop.com/mlb/2017/11/major-league-baseball-players-prefer-hip-hop-songs-get-pumped/slide/1/

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Saunders, B., Sim, J., Kingston, T., Baker, S., Waterfield, J., Bartlam, B., . . . Jinks, C. (2018). Saturation in qualitative research: Exploring its conceptualization and operationalization. Quality & Quantity, 52(4), 18931907. PubMed ID: 29937585 doi:10.1007/s11135-017-0574-8

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Shusterman, R. (1991). The fine art of rap. New Literacy History, 22(3), 613632. doi:10.2307/469207

  • Shusterman, R. (2005). Rap aesthetics: Violence and the art of keeping it real. In D. Darby & T. Shelby (Eds.), Hip-hop and philosophy: Rhyme 2 reason (pp. 5464). Chicago, IL: Open Court Publishing.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Söderman, J., & Sernhede, O. (2016). Hip-hop—what’s in it for the academy? Self-understanding, pedagogy and aesthetical learning processes in everyday cultural praxis. Music Education Research, 18(2), 142155. doi:10.1080/14613808.2015.1049257

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stevens-Aubrey, J., & Frisby, C.M. (2011). Sexual objectification in music videos: A content analysis comparing gender and genre. Mass Communication and Society, 14(4), 475501.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Strauss, A.L. (1987). Qualitative analysis for social scientists. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.

  • Surdam, D., Brown, K., & Gabriel, P.E. (2016). No so black and white: Race and promotion in Major League Baseball, 1951–1955. Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 40(4), 315328. doi:10.1177/0193723516632044

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Swanson, R.A. (2014). When baseball went white: Reconstruction, reconciliation, & dreams of a national pastime. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Teitelbaum, M. (2010). Sports in America: 1980–1989 (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Chelsea House.

  • Thompson, S.L. (2005). Knowwhatumsayin’? How hip-hop lyrics mean. In D. Darby & T. Shelby (Eds.), Hip-hop and philosophy: Rhyme 2 reason (pp. 119132). Chicago, IL: Open Court Publishing.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tomaszewicz, S. (2017). The relationship between politics and music of the black community. Journal of Education, Health, and Sport, 7(8), 917935.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Trujillo, N. (1991). Hegemonic masculinity on the mound: Media representations of Nolan Ryan and American sports culture. Critical Studies in Mass Communication, 8(3), 290308. doi:10.1080/15295039109366799

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tyrangiel, J. (2005). Hick hop: How cowboy Troy Coleman is shakin’ up country music. Time, 165(22), 6668.

  • Viljoen, M. (2004). Two reflections on urban discourse: Holy-hip as social symbolism. Muziki, 1(1), 4159. doi:10.1080/18125980408529731

  • Wagner, J. (2016, September). Latin, country, reggaeton: Great range in Mets’ playlists. The New York Times, p. SP1.

  • Walsh, C. (2013). Shout-outs to the creator: The use of biblical themes in rap lyrics. The Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, 25(2), 230248. doi:10.3138/jrpc.25.2.230

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Watts, E.K. (1997). An exploration of spectacular consumption: Gangsta rap as cultural commodity. Communication Studies, 48(1), 4258. doi:10.1080/10510979709368490

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Weber, J. (2019, July 30). The real “Old Town Road”: Lil Nas X highlights black cowboy culture across US. USA Today. Retrieved from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/07/30/lil-nas-x-old-town-road-black-cowboy-culture/1801170001/

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Weitzer, R., & Kubrin, C.E. (2009). Misogyny in rap music: A content analysis of prevalence and meanings. Men and Masculinities, 12(1), 329. doi:10.1177/1097184X08327696

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • West, C. (2005). Foreword. In D. Darby & T. Shelby (Eds.), Hip-hop & philosophy: Rhyme 2 reason (pp. xixii). Peru, IL: Open Court Publishing.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 213 213 0
Full Text Views 487 487 83
PDF Downloads 78 78 5