Research

Here is an (incomplete) list of my work to date:

BOOKS

The Hip Hop & Obama Reader  (with Travis Gosa, Cornell U)         Oxford University Press – 2015

Rap on Trial (with Andrea Dennis, U of Georgia)                                       (Under contract with The New Press)

ARTICLES/CHAPTERS

“White Surveillance of the Black Arts.” African American Review 47.1 (2014): 161-177.

Rap on Trial.” (With Charis Kubrin, UC Irvine).  Race and Justice 4.3 (2014): 185-211.   Note:  Link provided here is to pre-published version. The official version is available at the Race and Justice website.

“A ‘High Tension’ in Langston Hughes’s Musical Verse.” MELUS 37.4 (2012): 165-185.

“Making Room for ‘Dear Mama’ in Rap Lyrics.”  In Mothering and Hip Hop Culture.  Ed. J. Maki Motapanyane.  Toronto: Demeter Press, 2012. 40-54.

“‘Here Come the Cops’:  Policing the Resistance in Rap Music.” International Journal of Cultural Studies 15.4 (2012): 349-363.

‘”Go in de Wilderness’:  Escaping the ‘Eyes of Others’ in the Slave Songs.” Western Journal of Black Studies 35.2 (2011): 106-117.

“‘Can’t C Me’: Surveillance and Rap Music.” Journal of Black Studies 40.6 (2010): 1254-1274.

“‘We Are Gone’: ‘Black Steel’ and the Technologies of Presence and Absence.” Popular Communication 8.2 (2010): 120-131.

“‘My President is Black, My Lambo’s Blue’: The Obamafication of Rap?” Journal of Popular Music Studies 21.4 (2009): 344-363.

REVIEW

Adam Bradley and Andrew DuBois, eds. The Anthology of Rap (New Haven: Yale UP, 2010). African American Review 44.4 (2012): 719-721.

RECENT FEATURES

Free speech–unless it’s rap?” (Written with Michael Render, aka Killer Mike.)  CNN, February 2016.

Rubio, rap, and Republicans’ well-deserved electoral backlash.” (Written with Travis L. Gosa).  USA Today, February 2016.

Obama and hip hop:  A breakup song.” (Written with Travis L. Gosa). The Washington Post, September 2015.

Rap lyrics are fiction — but prosecutors are treating them like admissions of guilt.” (Written with Michael Render, aka Killer Mike.)  Vox.com,  March 2015.

The Threat of Rap Music.” Op-ed. The Washington Post, December 2014.

Rap’s Poetic (In)Justice.” Op-ed.  (Written with Michael Render, aka Killer Mike). USA Today, December 2014.

Will Top Court Challenge the Prosecution of Rap?” Op-ed. (Written with Charis E. Kubrin). CNN, June 2014.

Rap Lyrics or True Threats?  It’s Time For the High Court to Decide.” Op-ed.  (Written with Clay Calvert and Charis E. Kubrin). Forbes, May 2014.

A New Trend–California Prosecutes Rap.”  Op-ed.  (Written with Charis E. Kubrin).  The Los Angeles Times, April 2014.

Where Did All the Female Rappers Go?”  National Public Radio (Code Switch), March 2014.

Rap Lyrics on Trial.” Op-ed.  (Written with Charis E. Kubrin). The New York Times, January 2014.

Did the Decline of Sampling Cause the Decline of Political Hip Hop?” The Atlantic, September 2013.

“‘It Could Have Been Me’: The 1983 Murder of an NYC Graffiti Artist.” National Public Radio (Code Switch), September 2013.

Arab Rappers are Landing in Jail–Kind of Like American Rappers.” The Atlantic, July 2013.

Targets in the New Security Economy.” The Huffington Post, May 2013.

High Stakes for Hip-Hop Studies.” The Huffington Post, April 2013.

Where Would Hip Hop Be Without Colleges and Universities?” The Huffington Post, April 2013.

Stand Up For Liberty By Sitting Out the Pledge of Allegiance.” The Huffington Post, April 2013.

Obama’s Honeymoon with Hip Hop is Over.” The New Republic, January 2013.

How Hip Hop Fell Out of Love With Obama.” (cover feature of G2 film/music supplement) The Guardian, August 2012. 

Jim Crow’s Second Wind.Salon.com, August 2012.

Mitt Romney’s ‘Culture’ War.”  Salon.com, August 2012.

When Rap Lyrics Stand Trial.” The Root. July 2012.

MISCELLANEOUS

Amici Curiae brief (on rap music) filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in Bell v. Itawamba County School Board (December 2015).

Amici Curiae brief (on the history and conventions of rap music) filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in Elonis v. U.S. (August 2014).

SELECTED CONFERENCES / INVITED TALKS

“Hip Hop and Politics.” Hip Hop: Politics, Art, and Parody in Obamatime. University of Richmond. Richmond, VA. February 2016.

“Hip Hop and Obama.” Keynote address (with Travis L. Gosa). Old Dominion University. Norfolk, VA. February 2016.

“Rap and Repression.” Freedom of Expression in a Changing World conference. USC Gould School of Law. Los Angeles, CA. January 2016.

“Prosecuting Rap in the US and the UK.” Prosecuting Rap Conference. University of Manchester. Manchester, UK. October 2015.

“‘For Every Rhyme I Write it’s 25 to Life’: Rap on Trial in the Age of Social Media” (with Michael Render, aka Killer Mike). Man Up! Inc., USA. Brooklyn, NY. June 2015.

“Rap on Trial.” Appellate Judicial Attorneys Institute. San Francisco, CA. April 2015.

“Rap Lyrics on Trial.” Pittsburgh Humanities Festival.  Pittsburgh, PA. March 2015.

“Drawing the Line: Elonis, Rap Lyrics, and Free Speech.” New York University School of Law. New York, NY. March 2015.

“Elonis v. U.S.–Free Speech and the Ongoing Prosecution of Rap Music.” Threats, Free Speech, and the Law in the Internet Age. Brandeis University.  Waltham, MA. December 2014.

“The Intersection of True Threats, Rap Music and Muddled Meanings” (with Clay Calvert, University of Florida).  University of Richmond School of Law. Richmond, VA.  November 2014.

“Prosecuting Rap” (plenary talk).  VA Juvenile Justice Institute.  Newport News, VA. November 2014.

“Prosecuting Rap.” American Sociological Society (ASA) Annual Conference. San Francisco, CA. August 2014.

“Rap on Trial.” Virginia DUI Drug Treatment Court Training: Advancing Recovery & Solutions. Roanoke, VA. August 2014.

“Rap on Trial.”  International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM) Annual Conference.  University of North Carolina.  Chapel Hill, NC. March 2014.

“What Happened to Hip Hop and Obama?” British Association of American Studies (BAAS) Annual Conference.  University of Exeter.  Exeter, England. April 2013.

“Hip Hop, Surveillance, and Criminalization.”  Cornell University.  Invited lecture for “Hip Hop: Beats, Rhythm, and Life” class.  Ithaca, NY.  October 2012. 

“The Mother Figure and Rap’s Hidden Feminist Discourse.” National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA) Annual Conference.  Atlanta, GA.  November 2011.

“Globalizing the 21st Century English Department.”  Roundtable with Robert S. Levine.  Virginia Community College System (VCCS) Peer Group Conference.  Richmond, VA. October 2010.

“Obama and the Hip Hop Nation.” British Association of American Studies (BAAS) Annual Conference.  University of East Anglia.  Norwich, England. April 2010.

“Watching Rap.”  Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association (PCA/ACA) Annual Conference.  New Orleans, LA. April 2009.

“Surveillance and Rap Music.” Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English (ACCUTE) Annual Conference.  University of British Columbia.  Vancouver, Canada.  June 2008.