• TO PIMP A CATERPILLAR: HIP HOP AS A VEHICLE TO SPIRITUAL LIBERATION THROUGH THE DECOLONIZATION OF EUROPEAN IDEOLOGY

      Mazama, Ama, 1961- (Temple University. Libraries, 2017)
      This research investigates the role of Afrocentric consciousness within African Aesthetics as it relates to liberation for African American communities, more specifically young black millennials. “Welsh-Asante’s Nzuri Model of Aesthetics” is utilized as a theoretical guide to evaluate Hip-Hop artist’s Afrocentric location or lack thereof. Kendrick Lamar’s album titled “To Pimp a Butterfly” is closely examined in this thesis for its lyricism, aesthetics shown in cover illustration, and music production. This close analysis of “To Pimp a Butterfly” serves as an archetype or manifestation of Welsh-Asante’s “Nzuri” model in Hip Hop form. This thesis analyzes “To Pimp a Butterfly” to assert the notion of spirituality as the key component to black liberation. Other Hip-Hop artists such as Kanye West, NWA, Tupac Shakur, and DMX are critiqued and measured for its Afrocentric location; determining whether the artistic production of these artists upholds an Afrocentric consciousness. Ultimately, this thesis argues that in order for African art to liberate African (American) communities, the art must have spirituality at the center of its artistic production. Because Afrocentricity is used to place African culture, values, and ideologies at the center of its own reality, an Afrocentric consciousness can be used as a tool to evoke a conscious transformation that aids in decolonizing European thought. Ultimately, this research adds to the conversation of Hip Hop music as an art that can be spiritually healing in its process of awakening one’s African consciousness in the wake of cognitive hiatus.