Department or Program



This project takes up the subject of contemporary jazz musicians who use influences from hip hop music to create new jazz compositions. This musical practice is part of a larger movement in jazz to integrate modern popular culture in a jazz setting; in part as a reaction to a conservative jazz movement that emerged in the 1980s and 90s. During the 1980s and 90s a group of young jazz musicians and critics, often referred to as neoclassicists, established themselves as part of a new iteration of jazz music based upon a conservative understanding of what constitutes the “jazz tradition.” The rigid adherence of neoclassicists to conventional jazz styles served an overall ideology of “respectability politics.” Hip hop-inflected jazz is one specific manifestation of a modern movement to include more recent popular music in the genre. The importance of this movement resides in its distinctive cultural and political dimensions. In both its aesthetic and conceptual elements, hip hop-based jazz presents itself as a product of contemporary African American intellectual thought. As a genre, hip hop-based jazz has received criticisms for its perceived accessibility and commercialism, and for whether it serves the perceived cultural prestige that neoclassicists associate with the music. Despite this criticism, many jazz musicians are establishing hip hop-based jazz as a new genre that has helped to democratize and politicize the genre based upon shared cultures, a reintroduction of dance sensibilities, and through emulation of music created through new technologies of production.

Level of Access

Open Access

First Advisor

Chapman, Dale

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Open Access

Available to all.