Rhythm, rhyme, and rhetoric in 12 Years a Day Django.


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This thesis examines the rhetoric of 12 Years a Day Django, a contemporary written rap battle performance by rapper Daylyt. Three major arguments are advanced. First, written rap battling is a genre worthy of greater scholarly scrutiny. Second, a rapper’s style of flow can be racialized, meaning listeners “hear” race when the style is performed. Third, rappers’ flow can be a potent source of subversive and vernacular rhetorical action, which is enabled in part by the racialization of flow. These arguments are cultivated through a contextual and textual analysis of 12 Years a Day Django. In developing these claims, this thesis seeks to demonstrate the utility of applying rhetorical methods of study to rap battling and flow in order to further the project of putting performance and rhetorical studies into productive intersection. This thesis further aims at aiding in the resuscitation of aural-rhetorical theory and criticism.



Rhetoric. Daylyt. Aural. Aurality. Multimodality. Performance. Flow. Rap. Hip hop.