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Publication Date



UM campus only

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Communication Studies (Communication)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Shannon B. Campbell - Committee Chair

Second Committee Member

Darlene Drummond - Committee Member

Third Committee Member

Michael J. Beatty - Committee Member

Fourth Committee Member

Marvin Phillip Dawkins - Outside Committee Member


Contrary to popular belief, discussions of morality, spiritual sensibilities, and religion are major themes in the lyrics of rap music. The current study provides an exploratory content analysis of rap lyrics in an effort to better understand the ways in which rap artists and audiences thought and think about their spirituality. Results indicate that there existed a fervent and nuanced discourse around spirituality and its various forms during the rise of rap music between the mid 1990s and early millennium.


Hip-hop; African-American Theology