Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Media Studies

Reader 1

Ming-Yuen Ma

Reader 2

Jih-Fei Cheng

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Rhythm in hip-hop and other related Afro-diasporic music cultures is crucial to memory, collectivity, and protest. As popular rhythms are experimented upon and evolve, so does the timbre and swing of those beats with newfound access to analog and digital music technologies. As we trace the(r)evolutions of rhythm, an interlocking tradition of Black Noise is evident. My point of interest is Blackness, creativity, and technology and how access to independent music production in the early 70s was feasible through the method of “sampling” in DJ turntablism. My project explores the tensions of temporalities for the Black American and how they operate in European linear time with rhythm in music as a tool for reorientation within one’s roots. My scope pertains to the role of rhythm in hip-hop and how it gets complicated with elements hailing from linear time, ultimately creating a hybrid perspective that is encapsulated in the form of hip-hop songs. I aim to create an original 5-minute soundtrack exploring the history of hip-hop beats since its inception in 1973 in New York City and juxtapose familiar breakbeats from the early 1980s (when hip-hop began to be recorded and distributed) to theorize how it calls to nostalgia while pushing new sound aesthetics with new music technologies like the TRoland 808 drum machine. This 5-minute condensation of 50 years of the genre’s drum pattern catalog will serve as a microcosm to pose the question as to where hip-hop is going in linear time, and whether technology and roots are really in opposition at all.



To Mamí, Pa, Mamí Lilian, Evaristo, Tata, Haile, Camila, Ricky, Ralphy, Jaffet, Jared, Kiki, Alondra, Chris & The Bentley Family

Words cannot contain how much love I have for you all.

I cherish all the words of motivation, advice, care, and life lessons shared that led me to where I am and who I am today. This achievement was possible because of the beautiful, bright families I am blessed with

Thank you for your endless love and support.

Streaming Media

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.