Get rich or die tryin’ : a semiotic approach to the construct of wealth in rap music.




Davis, Kristine Ann.

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For the past 30 years, rap music has made its way into the mainstream of America, taking an increasingly prominent place in popular culture, particularly for youth, its main consumers. This thesis looks at wealth through the lens of semiotics, an important component of critical/cultural theory, using a hermeneutical analysis of 11 rap songs, spanning the last decade of rap music to find signification and representation of wealth in the rap song lyrics. The research finds three important themes of wealth - relationship between wealth and the opposite sex, wealth that garners respect from other people, and wealth as a signifier for "living the good life" - and five signifiers of wealth – money, cars, attire, liquor, and bling.



Rap music., Qualitative., Semiotics., Hermeneutics., Wealth., Hip hop music.