Ode to the Lone-Mother: Mother - Son Relation as Portrayed in Hip Hop Culture (pp. 235-250)
Authors: (Michael D. Cadarette & Cherylynn Bassani)
Abstract: This chapter examines the mother-son relationship that is portrayed in Hip Hop music. Through a latent content analysis of three popular rap songs with lyrical content about the rappers’ mothers, we discuss the primary themes that emerge regarding mother-son relations. Among these themes are the positive attitudes towards their mothers and the various support roles of these single Black mothers -including emotional and physical support, and the disciplinary role. We also note the theme of reciprocal relationship between mother and son. The latent themes that emerged are significant as they illustrate the rich social capital that can develop between a child and his mother in a single parent family. Our findings make a valuable contribution to both the Hip Hop and social capital literatures. First off our research illustrates a positive image of women (mothers) in Hip Hop culture, while the extant literature by and large focuses on the misogynous tendencies of the mainstream Hip Hop culture (Forman & Neal, 2004; Perry, 2004; Trapp, 2005; Weitzer & Kubrin, 2009). Secondly our research empirically illustrates that rich, positive social capital can develop in families that experience multiple jeopardy. This is integral to the recent development of social capital theory (Bassani, 2007; 2010), as traditional theoretical modeling has assumed that children in single parent families have social capital deficiencies (Coleman, 1988, 1990). Consequentially, our chapter makes a valuable contribution to both the Hip Hop and social capital literatures.