Mainstreaming French Rap Music. Commodification and Artistic Legitimation of Othered Cultural Goods

Karim Hammou 1
1 CRESPPA-CSU - Cultures et sociétés urbaines (CRESPPA)
CRESPPA - Centre de recherches sociologiques et politiques de Paris
Abstract : By analysing the changes in the commodification of French rap music in the 1990s and 2000s, this paper presents artistic legitimation as a conflict-ridden social process in which for-profit companies plays a crucial role. In the first section, I describe how French rap music is commodified through various paths of commodification (aesthetic, oppositional and mainstream) and their interplay over time. Some of these paths rely on the framing of rap music as a cultural good associated with minority groups, and are key in the first steps toward a legitimation of French rap music as an art form. In the second section, I show how resource mobilisation is an active driver for the artistic delegitimation of French rap music. In the context of market competition, the status of rap music as an ''othered'' cultural good offers significant opportunities for devaluation. This case study helps to pinpoint how cultural goods may achieve an ambivalent artistic legitimation based on false consensus, which I distinguish from both full-fledged artistic legitimacy and utter artistic illegitimacy.
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Journal articles
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Submitted on : Tuesday, April 11, 2017 - 9:20:22 AM
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Karim Hammou. Mainstreaming French Rap Music. Commodification and Artistic Legitimation of Othered Cultural Goods. Poetics, 2016, ⟨10.1016/j.poetic.2016.05.002⟩. ⟨hal-01505114⟩

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