2005 Pop Conference Bios/Abstracts
Guthrie Ramsey, Jr.
Musicologist and pianist Guthrie P. Ramsey, Jr. is currently Associate Professor and Chair of Graduate Studies in the music department at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a specialist in African-American and American music, jazz, cultural studies, popular music, film studies, and historiography. He is the author of Race Music: Black Cultures from Bebop to Hip-Hop, voted outstanding book of 2003 by the International Association for the Study of Popular Music.
He has published in Black Music Research Journal, Musical Quarterly, American Music, The Journal Black Studies, Callaloo, The New York Times, and The Village Voice . He is completing a book on jazz pianist Bud Powell and leads the band Dr. Guy's MusiQologY, which is completing its first CD and has performed in South America and the U.S.
Race and Taste
Saturday, April 16, 2005,
10:45 - 12:15
""Life's A Bitch": Nas and Hip-Hop Authenticity Revisited"
The appearance of the recording Illmatic was critically hailed in 1994 as a watershed moment in Hip-Hop history. It set a benchmark for rappers in an artistic field consumed by constantly shifting notions of "realness," authenticity, and artistic credibility. This presentation analyzes the formal plan and lyrics of "Life's A Bitch," a poignant and pithy statement expressing some of the ironies, pleasures, and craft that has come to symbolize Nas's singular artistic vision.