Art, as an expression of feelings, worldviews, and personal beliefs, is a reflection of our environment and how we interact with it. In this way, urban art such as rap music and graffiti can serve as a lens through which we are able to examine the state of the urban environment. Building on community literature that addresses the presence of nihilism in rap music, this work will establish that nihilism is a prevalent theme in the work of two artists: Tyler the Creator's rap music and BANKSY's graffiti art. By examining the growing subculture and appeal of urban art in relation to these two artists, this paper will argue that BANKSY and Tyler the Creator belong to a new wave of urban art, one that appeals to and originates from people of all races and classes. The current work will then examine these artists' motives in including nihilism within their art in order to argue that the disillusionment and nihilism once found primarily within inner cities is now spreading to new frontiers. Using this analysis, the current work will raise questions as to the possible causes and consequences of this spreading nihilistic mindset.
© The Journal
"Listen to the Story: Banksy, Tyler the Creator, and the Growing Nihilistic Mindset,"
Journal of Hip Hop Studies: Vol. 1
, Article 8.
Available at: https://scholarscompass.vcu.edu/jhhs/vol1/iss1/8