Dr. Ebony Utley

Dr. Ebony Utley

Having never been a gangsta herself, Ebony A. Utley, Ph.D., confidently argues that most gangsta rappers have not been gangstas either. In her critically-acclaimed book, Rap and Religion: Understanding The Gangsta’s God, Utley argues that a gangsta is not a real person, but an identity donned by hip hop artists to establish themselves as authoritative figures. Incorporating her expertise in rap music, religion, and urban history, Utley explains how a God-sanctioned gangsta identity can be empowering.

Rhymes: Snoop Doggy Dog “Murder Was the Case,” Lauryn Hill “I Used to Love Him,” and The Coup “Mindfuck”


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[audio https://archive.org/download/RhymesReasons-EbonyUtley/RhymesReasons-EbonyUtley.mp3]

More Info on Ebony:

“The Utley Experience”

Rap and Religion: Understanding the Gangsta’s God


Songs From This Interview:

Snoop Doggy Dog “Murder was the Case”

Ghostface Killah “Malcolm”

Tupac “Blasphemy”

Thomas Dorsey “Precious Lord”

Saigon “Preacher”

Lauryn Hill ft. Mary J. Blige “I Used to Love Him”

The Coup “Mindfuck (A New Equation)”

Freddie Gibbs “The Ghetto”

Talib Kweli ft. Jean Grae “Black Girl Pain”

Nina Simone “To Be Young, Gifted, and Black”

Nate Mathews

Nate Mathews

Nate Mathews is a student of African and Middle East history currently pursuing his doctorate at Northwestern University. He is the author of the poetry collection, River of Desire, Ocean of Love, and founder of the website Azanian Sea.

Rhymes: Boogie Down Productions – “Blackman in Effect,” Common ft Cee-Lo – “G.O.D. (Gaining One’s Definition),” and Professor Jay – “Zali za Mentali”


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More from Nate:

Azanian Sea

River of Desire, Ocean of Love

Songs From This Interview:

Boogie Down Productions- Blackman In Effect

KRS- One- Return of the Boom Bap

X-Clan- Grand Verbalizer, What Time Is It?

Common feat Cee Lo- G.O.D. (Gaining One’s Definition)

Common Sense- Take It Easy

Outkast ft. Goodie Mobb- Git Up, Get Out

Kanye West- School Spirit

Murs- And This Is For…

Professor Jay- Zali Za Mentali

K’Naan- T.I.A.