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date: 22 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

During the late 1980s, Top 40 radio stations in the United States considerably increased their programming of rap, facilitating hip hop’s crossover into the mainstream. Concerned about potential negative responses from advertisers and listeners based on rap’s sound as well as the presumed racial identity of rap’s performers and audiences, these stations primarily programmed songs that mixed hip hop aesthetics with the more traditional sounds of pop, disguising some of the sonic qualities of rap that programmers worried were offensive to their audiences. These songs did not just change the generic makeup of Top 40 radio; instead, they profoundly influenced the newly interconnected futures of pop and rap music.

Keywords: rap, Top 40, radio, programming, crossover, pop music, music and race

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