This essay uses Tupac Shakur’s Me Against the World as a case study examining how Black male artists use hip-hop music for articulating the racialized vulnerability organizing their manhood. By thinking about how Shakur understands his Black maleness through his social relationality to the world around him, Shakur’s album creates resistive space for defining Black maleness despite how Black masculinity is often defined and imposed on Black men. Shakur’s album maps a relational network for understanding a brand of Black manhood obscured by dominant discourses about Black men and their masculinity. Specifically, Shakur’s album frames Black maleness through poverty and how it orients Black men, his perpetual susceptibility to harm and death, and suicide ideation as a response to his despair. Connecting Black maleness and vulnerability, Shakur’s album offers insight about being Black and male in a patriarchal White supremacist society.
- Black manhood
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Sociology and Political Science