The 'Jazz Gene': Examining the Use of Jazz Aesthetics in Hip-Hop Music
Francis, P. Thomas William
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This thesis is made up of 7 original compositions that aid in exploring the common cultural traits and practices of African-American music referred to using the metaphor of the Jazz Gene. These conventions are historically contextualized and analyzed through two categories of rhythm and harmony from a post-Jazz perspective. The compositions in this thesis also highlight influences and artists from various African-American genres whose active compositional styles create unique frameworks in their genres such as James Brown, Joshua Redman, Roy Hargrove, Robert Glasper, and Dr. Dre. I surmise that without these common traits and practices found in these unique frameworks, Hip-Hop music would not persevere or evolve. These aesthetics exist in Hip-Hop just as much as they exist in Funk, Soul, R&B, Gospel, and Jazz music.