Hip-Hop and Black Identity: A Meta-Analytic Review Explaining How Modern Hip-Hop Relates to Black Identity and How It Has Created Signs of Complacency in Today’s African-American Youth

Neena Rani Speer


Hip-hop is not just music; it is comprised of fashion, arts, icons, and it is a unique culture. Originally, hip-hop was created with the propensity to gauge the psychology and lived experiences of young people growing up in underrepresented neighborhoods. In the past, hip-hop was used as a voice for disenfranchised youth of low-economic areas, and it served as a battleground for respect and recognition in the world. Today, hip-hop has lost key elements that initially led to its widespread positive effect. Identifying hip-hop as an authentic representation of black culture and showing the relation of having a moral conflict or dilemma when listening to lyrics. We systematically reviewed the prospective association between hip-hop and morals compared to an association between morals and complacency. From 352 citations retrieved, 98 relevant articles were identified. Meta-analysis of all available data from unique selection criteria eliminated 53 articles because of lack of available data. It additionally excluded 23 more because of too few associations between hip-hop and black identity. There were 22 studies that were produced from the meta-analysis that provided constructive associations between the identified selection criteria. Studies were able to suggest multiple associations with hip-hop and black identity and hip-hop and morals. There was also a slight association of morals and complacency. The gap in the literature suggests more studies need to be done exploring the correlation among moral conflict and acts of complacency and hip-hop music’s effect on culture and complacency.


Hip-hop, rap, moral values, complacency

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