The (un)importance of authenticity in hip-hop: why authenticity does and does not matter in hip-hop
This thesis aims to add to the discussion of authenticity in hip-hop, by investigating the foundations of (the importance of) authenticity in hip-hop. This is achieved by first providing a brief overview of the history of hip-hop, alongside an understanding of Rousseau’s philosophy of authenticity. This is followed up by a categorization of authenticity claims in hip-hop, which is then applied to seven songs. In the final chapter, these categories are challenged, as well as their perceived importance. Authenticity remains of central importance within the hip-hop community, but this importance wanes when songs and artists enter the mainstream.