Review of Kajikawa, Loren. 2015. Sounding Race in Rap Songs. Oak-land: University of California Press.

McMullen, Tracy

In 1991, Scott Deveaux warned that an “official history of jazz had taken hold,” aided and abetted by the work of academics. From a “chaotic di-versity of style and expression” came a “coherent whole, . . . a skillfully contrived and easily comprehended narrative” (525). Deveaux attributed this primarily to textbooks, which reinforced the narrative of neat stylistic decades (1920s New Orleans jazz, 1930s Swing, 1940s Bebop, etc.) and the institutionalization of jazz studies within colleges and universities. Because jazz was a relatively recent art form, Deveaux could watch the official his-tory develop and cohere before his eyes. Now it may be hip-hop’s turn.


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August 18, 2022