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Rap and Religion: Understanding the Gangsta's God Hardcover – June 11, 2012
2016 Book Awards
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"Utley . . . presents a unique study of the cultural and sociological context in which religion and hard-edged rap intersect, mainly from the mid 1990s to the present. Also, the book's laid-back prose offers a quick read. . . . Summing Up: Recommended." - Choice
"[A]n important contribution to an understanding of how people mobilize cultural resources in ways that give meaning to their lives. Utley's writing is engaging and accessible, and is inviting to audiences for whom hip hop culture is more than an academic interest, and rather a central aspect of their lived experience." - Rhetoric & Public Affairs
"The intellectual range with which Utley explores the spiritual contours of rap and hip hop are perhaps only matched by the vocalic range of the lyricism she examines. In this fascinating, thought-provoking, experience-driven, and often encyclopedic journey through hip hop's multifaceted legacies, Utley makes a compelling case about rap and hip hop's spiritual relevance, leaving us both breathless and re-energized." (Ronald L. Jackson II, Author of Scripting the Black Masculine Body: Identity, Discourse, and Racial Politics in Popular Media)
"Hip hop has not abandoned Jesus they have reinterpreted Jesus. Utley has done for us in this book what James Cone did for us in The Spiritual and the Blues. Her book like Dr. Cones' book is destined to be a classic." (Dr. Ralph C. Watkins, Author of Hip Hop Redemption: Finding God in the Rhythm and the Rhymes and The Gospel Remix: Reaching the Hip Hop Generation)
"This book is a must-read for anyone who has interests in popular culture, biblical interpretation, or theological ethics; as well as a whole generation who has done incredible self-reflection and self-revelation and packaged it as rap." (Reverend Cheryl A. Kirk-Duggan, PhD, Professor of Religion, Shaw University Divinity School; Coauthor of Wake Up!: Hip Hop, Christianity, and the Black Church)
"Rap and Religion is elegant, compelling, and desperately needed. Utley's bracing exploration of the godly and divine in rap music illuminates new, powerful, and poignant intersections between the politics of religion, race, gender, and commerce. A remarkable scholarly achievement, and a gift to hip hop fans everywhere." (Michael P. Jeffries, Author of Thug Life: Race, Gender, and the Meaning of Hip-Hop, Assistant Professor of American Studies, Wellesley College)
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