Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis and Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


School of Communication

First Advisor

Joseph P. Zompetti


This project examines the rhetorical elements in the work of Tupac Shakur that provide the capacity for resistance against hegemonic conditions of oppression. A popular, socially-conscious rapper of the 1980s and 1990s, Shakur's music opened a window not only for others to understand the social injustices facing Black Americans, but provided Blacks living in conditions of poverty and oppression with a voice in society. Using a Gramscian lens of rhetorical criticism, this study examines the neo-marxist elements of hegemonic structure present in select tracks produced during Shakur's lifetime. This analysis explores the rhetorical strategies deployed by Shakur to bring awareness to these hegemonic injustices as well as investigates the tactics offered by Shakur in his music to encourage a movement of social change. Moreover, this study discusses the influences of the hip-hop artist Tupac Shakur both during, and after his death along with develops an understanding for the use of hip-hop music as an effective method of communicating social conditions of a given community.


Imported from ProQuest Mitchell_ilstu_0092N_10148.pdf


Page Count


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Communication Commons